Clinton Judge Upholds DC gun regulations

This case is a mess. Unfortunately, I don't think that the lawyers who brought this case made any empirical arguments to support their side and thus haven't created an evidentiary record for the appeal.

A federal judge on Friday upheld the gun laws that the District of Columbia passed to comply with the landmark 2008 Supreme Court ruling that struck down the city's decades-old ban on handgun possession.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina found that the new regulations were crafted to make the streets safer and aren't so restrictive that they violate the Second Amendment guarantee of a person's right to own a gun for self-defense.

"It is beyond dispute that public safety is an important -- indeed, a compelling -- governmental interest," Urbina wrote.

The judge ruled that the District's handgun registration process, which requires owners to submit fingerprints and allow police to perform ballistics tests, is constitutional. He also upheld a city ban on most semiautomatic pistols.

D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), chairman of the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary, said the ruling shows the District reached the correct balance between the rights of residents and the need to promote public safety. . . .

The judge's decision is available here.

The DC gun law is available here.

Another discussion is available here.

The briefs submitted by Stephen Halbrook can be found here.

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Blogger Jim W said...

Uh, those are motions for summary judgment. They only argue law, not fact. There hasn't been a trial yet so there's nothing to preserve for appeal. They're just going to argue the legal basis for winning.

This is what happened in Heller- the entire case was decided before trial on an appeal from a motion for summary judgment.

3/27/2010 10:09 PM  

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