In 1976, the District of Columbia City Council enacted three of the strictest gun control ordinances in the United States. The ordinances entirely ban the possession of handguns within the District and, while allowing residents to keep rifles and shotguns in their homes, require those guns be kept disassembled or bound by a trigger lock. Then in 2003, Dick Heller and five other plaintiffs were recruited by lawyer, Robert Levy, and used to file suit against D.C. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging that the D.C. Gun Ban violated their Second Amendment right to "keep and bear arms." The District Court found that the Second Amendment should not give an individual the right to gun ownership except where the individual is a member of an organized militia and granted the District's motion to dismiss. Heller and the other plaintiffs then appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals then questioned whether the plaintiffs could even challenge the Gun Ban because the requirement was that a plaintiff must have suffered an actual injury due. In D.C. simply wanting to keep a handgun at home I snot enough to challenge the law. The court found that only Heller had a viable case, because he suffered an actual injury when the District denied his application for a handgun permit. The court dismissed the others from the suit because the ban had not actually impacted them yet. The Court of Appeals then considered whether the Second Amendment right to bear arms is an individual right or a right contingent on membership in a well-regulated militia. The court determined that when Congress passed the Bill of Rights, the term "militia" referred generally and broadly to the...
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... the Second Amendment provides a collective right to bear arms for individuals associated with an organized military force. This court’s ruling was the first to ever favor the right to bear arms for an individual and has changed how states regulate gun ownership.
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Duignan, Brian. "District of Columbia v. Heller (law Case)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.
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"United States: Gun Ownership and the Supreme Court." Second Amendment. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2014.
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