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D.C. Handgun Law Challenged Again

10:02 AM, Sep 2, 2009 • By C.J. CIARAMELLA
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The Second Amendment Foundation, along with several individual plaintiffs, has filed a lawsuit challenging the District of Columbia's ban on carrying handguns in public.

The Supreme Court struck down D.C.'s total ban on guns last year in District of Columbia v. Heller, affirming that the Second Amendment is indeed an individual right. However, D.C. residents are still forbidden to carry a firearm, concealed or otherwise, in public.

Today over at the Washington Post, Cato Institute chairman Robert Levy has an intelligent op-ed explaining why he believes the D.C. ban will get knocked to the mat again:

Does the Constitution mandate that the nation's capital allow firearms to be carried outside the home? The right to bear arms, the court said in Heller, is an "individual right unconnected to militia service." To "bear" means to "carry." More specifically, when used with "arms," the opinion said, "bear" means "carrying for a particular purpose - confrontation." Nothing in that formulation implies a right that can be exercised only within one's home.

Indeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, although she dissented in Heller, cited Black's Law Dictionary to suggest in a prior opinion that the Second Amendment entails a right to "wear, bear, or carry ..... upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, ..... armed and ready ..... in a case of conflict with another person." That language, says Michael O'Shea in the West Virginia Law Review, "reads like a literal description of the practice of lawful concealed carry, as engaged in by millions of Americans in the forty-eight states that authorize the carrying of concealed handguns."

The plaintiffs themselves also offer some good food for thought as well. From the court complaint: "Plaintiff Tom G. Palmer has previously used a handgun, successfully, to defend himself from a gang of men who chased him while uttering death threats and anti-gay slurs. […] Palmer would carry a functional handgun in public for self-defense, but refrains from doing so because he fears arrest, prosecution, fine, and imprisonment."

Another of the plaintiffs is a woman -- one Amy McVey. For how much liberals and their gun-control pals talk about equality, they often forget that handguns are an equalizing force, and by taking them away, it actually make the streets much more dangerous the very people they claim to advocate for.