Seven years after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns, D.C. has lost another gun case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia—one that involves the very same plaintiff, Dick Heller.
In the latest case, Heller v. District of Columbia, a three-judge panel has thrown out several gun registration requirements that were clearly intended to discourage gun ownership and make it more difficult to own a gun in the nation’s capital.
The original Heller case, which was decided in 2008, was without doubt the most important case on the Second Amendment since the amendment was first ratified on Dec. 15, 1791 as part of the original Bill of Rights. It was the first case in which the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects the right of individual Americans to own a gun. The Court rejected the District’s “prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.”
Immediately after the 2008 decision, the city council of the District enacted the Firearms Registration Amendment Act of 2008. Dick Heller filed another lawsuit challenging that Act, claiming it violated the Second Amendment, too. In response to the lawsuit and a decision by the appellate court, the city council in 2012 revised the Act to get rid of some of the conditions for registration, such as a requirement that all pistols be submitted for ballistic identification.