[JURIST] Washington DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and DC Attorney General Linda Singer [official profiles] Tuesday formally appealed a March federal court ruling invalidating the District of Columbia's handgun ban [JURIST report] to the US Supreme Court, setting the stage for the biggest Second Amendment challenge in almost 70 years. In March, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit held [opinion, PDF] that the city's 30-year-old ban on private possession of handguns was unconstitutionally broad. City lawyers have warned that the ruling "severely limits" the ability of local and federal legislatures to regulate firearms to protect citizens and law-enforcement officers. DC's certiorari petition [PDF text] argues that
states remain free to regulate arms within their boundaries so long as they do not thereby deprive the United States of the ability to obtain the assistance of an armed citizenry in time of need.In a Tuesday Washington Post editorial [text], Fenty and Singer characterized as "extraordinary and wrong" the DC Circuit's decision that the Second Amendment protected not just state militias but also personal gun rights. The Supreme Court last directly addressed the Second Amendment in 1939's U.S. v. Miller [case materials]. AP has more. The Washington Post has additional coverage.
In May, the DC Circuit denied a request [JURIST report] by the city for an en banc rehearing of the court's March decision. A Republican bid to overturn the DC gun ban legislatively passed the US House of Representatives [WP report] in 2004, but failed to get Senate approval.