Posted Nov 20, 2007 06:34 pm CST
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide a closely watched case that asserts the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms.
The court decision could result in the most in-depth examination of the right to keep and bear arms in nearly 70 years, the Associated Press reports. The case is likely to have broad implications for gun-control laws across the country, the Washington Post reports.
The court is likely to hear arguments in the case in March, SCOTUSblog reports. The parties could not agree on how to frame the Second Amendment issue, so the court did the job. The issue is whether provisions of a Washington, D.C., statute barring handguns “violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes.”
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit had held the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms and struck down the D.C. statute. Opponents claim the amendment protects only the right of the states to arm militias.
Robert Levy, a senior fellow at Washington’s libertarian Cato Institute, represented the plaintiffs who challenged the ban. (All but a security guard have been eliminated from the case because of lack of standing.) Levy told the ABA Journal that two lawyers from the National Rifle Association originally tried to dissuade him from filing the case.