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  • Heller V. District of Columbia (DC)
  • Why won't they let me own a gun?
  • Even if we did, it would have to be kept unloaded and disassembled or trigger locked
  • Facts of The Case
  • they violated my right... ill have to take this to court then
  • Im sorry but you won't be allowed to own a firearm
  • Question Before The Court
  • they violated my right... ill have to take this to court then
  • Do local laws prohibiting handgun ownership violate the second amendment?
  •  is a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held, in a 5–4 decision, that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
  • Constitutional Application
  • The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home
  • The District of Columbia passed a law requiring the registration handguns, requiring licenses for all pistols, and requiring that all legal firearms be kept unloaded and disassembled or trigger locked. Mr.Heller brought a suit claiming the law violated his second amendment right to bear arms after he was denied one.
  • Arguments For The Petitioner
  • they violated my right... ill have to take this to court then
  • every person who used the phrase "bear arms" used it to refer to the use of arms in connection with militia service 
  • Do the provisions of the District of Columbia Code that restrict the licensing of handguns and require licensed firearms kept in the home to be kept nonfunctional violate the Second Amendment?
  • Arguments For The Respondent
  • they violated my right... ill have to take this to court then
  • We had a motion for summary judgment and we made certain factual allegations in this motion, and on page 70a of the joint appendix we see portions of our statement of undisputed material facts.
  • This issue is based on the second amendment which gives an individual the right to own a handgun for protection purposes
  • In the debates over the Second Amendment, every person who used the phrase "bear arms" used it to refer to the use of arms in connection with militia service and when Madison introduced the amendment in the first Congress, he exactly equated the phrase "bearing arms" with, quote, "rendering military service".
  • The Petitioners have had two opportunities to urge courts to adopt this self-defense exception which they construed in the amendment. The first opportunity was in McIntosh V. Washington, the petitioners urged the Court of Appeals of DC to uphold the law because it was irrational to prohibit self-defense in the home with firearms. They deemed it too dangerous. The second was that the Petitioners had to urge this sort of self-defense construction was actually in this case in the district court.
  • Fact number 29, which was conceded by the District of Columbia, reads: The defendants prohibit the possession of lawfully owned firearms for self-defense within the home, even in instances when self-defense would be lawful by other means under District of Columbia law. The citation for that is a functional firearms ban, and that point was conceded.
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