June 26th, 2008
10:26 AM ET
12 years ago

Justice rules city's handgun ban unconstitutional

 A gun ownership supporter holds a placard in March outside the Supreme Court in Washington.

A gun ownership supporter holds a placard in March outside the Supreme Court in Washington.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a sweeping handgun ban in the nation's capital, saying it violates Americans' constitutional right to "keep and bear arms."

Thursday's sharply divided 5-4 ruling gives constitutional validation to citizens seeking the right to possess one of the most common types of firearms in their homes. The gun control issue has been politically divisive for years, and the monumental decision is expected to have broad social and legal implications, especially in an election year.

Watch: What does the ruling mean?

The majority of justices disagreed with arguments that the Washington, D.C. government has broad authority to enact what local officials called "reasonable" weapons restrictions in order to reduce violent crime.

Full story


Filed under: Supreme Court
soundoff (230 Responses)
  1. carrie obama

    this societ id getting crazy.
    thats why we need obama

    June 26, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Obama wants subjects not citizens

    Citizens are armed. Subjects are not. See the writtings of some guy named Thomas Jefferson.

    Time to revisit Obama's written desire to ban all guns.

    Although he'll lie and say he didn't we all know better.

    Never have I seen a candidate that tries to hide his true positions on issues as much as this one....and never have I seen an electorate that is willing to let him get away with it as much as this one.

    June 26, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. Ted

    Awwww, man.
    Less guns=less crime. Statistics, check 'em.

    June 26, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. rumpusgoopus

    That was a given. Could at least one news site PLEASE explain what the decision said about just how much regulation a state/city can put into place! Seriously, this is a far more important issue.

    June 26, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. ms.sims

    I think people have the right to own a gun if they so choose...I actually plan on getting one for security soon. But on the same token you have to have restrictions on guns such as AK-47..etc..., waiting periods, criminal background checks, registration, limit on number of guns bought per timeframe. But to deny someone the right to own a gun when it's one of the basic rights in the constitution is ridiculous. Many people instist that there will be a increase in gun crimes, but I don't think it would be a increase in crime since most gun crimes committed are done by those who are not obtaining guns legally anyways...which opens up a whole number issue on how to get those illegal guns off the streets.

    June 26, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  6. Tori, Oregon

    You know I don't understand why people want guns in their home. With today's alternate forms of protection why does a firearm that could endanger you and others a right.

    June 26, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. joe DeSoto, MO.

    It is guns that help keep us free. It would be hard for a ground force to invade our country.

    June 26, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. Brian

    Open season in D.C.!

    June 26, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  9. Lucas, Nashville TN

    It's not shocking that Bush's installed justices have taken this step.

    June 26, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. Tony

    Go hunt some more possum for supper man!

    June 26, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. Republican for Obama

    Finally some common sense. I always said the day they prove banning drugs cuts down on drug abuse I would give up my guns and it hasn't happened. All these bans do is disarm the legal population, criminals intent on using firearms to commit crime could care less that the gun they own is illegal. After all, they are already breaking a string of laws, what's one more?

    Thank you for having the courage to make a decision that has been long overdue.

    June 26, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. Larry in Florida

    I think we all need to arm ourselves for the sake of protecting our own and maybe, just maybe, the crazies out there will think twice about attacking people who are just trying to go about their lifes. It kind of sounds like the days of the wild west but it is coming to that I'm afraid. So, what does it mean? It means horray for the good guys. We can fight back.

    June 26, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Deb from Upstate

    A great day for law-abiding gun owners everywhere.

    You can bet that the scumbag drug dealers and gangs who use illegally procured handguns have never attended a gun safety course or had to jump through the legal hoops to own a handgun.

    An educated gun owner is one who uses his/her firearms SAFELY.

    June 26, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. JD

    Yes! Our Constitutional Rights cannot be stripped away. Ultimately, the only thing the police can do for you if you are violently attacked is chalk your body and hose the blood away.

    June 26, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. Martha - Charlotte, NC

    I was delighted when I heard this decision. The only thing a gun ban does is arm the criminals and disarms the public. It is sad that it has taken more than three decades to come to this decision. I am all for common sense restrictions but even those will only apply to the non-criminal public. Nothing will stop the criminal element from obtaining guns. Maybe knowing that there is a greater chance of being shot back at might slow things down a little.

    June 26, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  16. Craig Alan

    Cue the Obama flip flop on this issue !

    Jimmy Carter II certainly has no position he is not willing to change DAILY.

    June 26, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. AFFA

    Good! Now the criminals can go ahead and have a field day because guns are going to be even more available in DC and elsewhere. Never mind the deaths of innocent children on a daily basis, who, I might add, are not old enough to buy the guns to "defend themselves."

    I don't want to hear anyone complaining about voilence in DC because the Supreme Court has once again succumb to the Right Wing Establishement where they all are in the pockets of the NRA and given Criminals ammunition to go ahead and KILL children.

    Dick Chenny is now free to shoot another friend.

    June 26, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. Republican for Obama

    Finally some common sense. I always said the day they prove banning drugs cuts down on drug abuse I would give up my guns and it hasn't happened. All these bans do is disarm the legal population, criminals intent on using firearms to commit crime could care less that the gun they own is illegal. After all, they are already breaking a string of laws, what's one more?

    Thank you for having the courage to make a decision that has been long overdue.

    Woot!

    June 26, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. Patrick Henry

    Good.
    Despite the bizarre DC restrictions–all of the criminals who preyed on the majority of citizens–still managed to find guns and keep the death rate climbing.

    Now when they break into a bedroom window–and Mrs. Smith points her brand new S&W .357 magum in their direction–they will probably think twice before robbing or harming her.

    Great day for Washington D.C., liberty to protect yourself and your property is restored.

    Next step–the issue of legally carrying concealed weapons when you're not near your bedside drawer!!

    June 26, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. gun nut

    yay guns!

    June 26, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. Pat Riot

    Michael Lorton, just a heads up since you seem to know nothing about global economics. The government doesn't control the economy or gas prices. They cannot efficiently manage an economy. That is called socialism; and what have we learned about socialism? It only creates waste and excess and in the end causes the general collapse of a nation. I can appreciate that you are worried about filling up your car at a reasonable price but don't you think a person being able to defend their LIFE from a violent offender is more important? People > you.

    June 26, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  22. proud army and navy mom

    we are slowly going from a civilized society to uncivilized. what goes around comes around though.

    the same people that wants more guns on the street, should not be surprised if they become a victim of a violent crime. the chances of that happening increases with more guns in people's hand.

    June 26, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  23. Watermann

    Shame on you

    June 26, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  24. BR

    Typical liberal responses. Ban all handguns because liberals know what is good for us. Nevermind your own individual right to protect yourself. What tools. Keep drinking the BHO kool-aid

    June 26, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. Inky

    BATTER UP !!!

    June 26, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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