SCOTUS Overturns DC Gun Ban (UPDATED)

Today’s Electoral Map (from FiveThirtyEight):  Obama 342.6 EV ; McCain 195.4 EV

ABC reports:

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the District of Columbia cannot ban a citizen from keeping a handgun at home, throwing out one of the nation’s strictest gun control laws.

Writing for the 5-4 majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said that the Constitution protects an individual’s right to keep and carry a gun. The decision will affect gun control laws across the country.

“We hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violated the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense.”

Personally, I agree with the ruling–the second amendment is part of the Constutituon, and it guarantees individual American citizens the right to own firearms.  Of course–like with many of our constitutional rights–we accept reasonable limits on that right, but the basic constitutional guarantee cannot be denied.

Of course, I hope the Supreme Court is as willing to uphold all our other constitutional rights as they are willing to uphold this one.  The Bush administration and their Republican cronies have taken away a lot of rights I and millions of other Americans want to see restored.

UPDATE: TPM reports that both Obama and McCain agree with the SCOTUS ruling, though on different grounds. McCain tries to clumsily shoehorn an attack on Obama into his response, while Obama talks about the importance of upholding all of our constitutional rights.


Today’s decision is a landmark victory for Second Amendment freedom in the United States. For this first time in the history of our Republic, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms was and is an individual right as intended by our Founding Fathers. I applaud this decision as well as the overturning of the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns and limitations on the ability to use firearms for self-defense.

Unlike Senator Obama, who refused to join me in signing a bipartisan amicus brief, I was pleased to express my support and call for the ruling issued today. Today’s ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller makes clear that other municipalities like Chicago that have banned handguns have infringed on the constitutional rights of Americans. Unlike the elitist view that believes Americans cling to guns out of bitterness, today’s ruling recognizes that gun ownership is a fundamental right — sacred, just as the right to free speech and assembly.

This ruling does not mark the end of our struggle against those who seek to limit the rights of law-abiding citizens. We must always remain vigilant in defense of our freedoms. But today, the Supreme Court ended forever the specious argument that the Second Amendment did not confer an individual right to keep and bear arms.


I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms, but I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through common-sense, effective safety measures. The Supreme Court has now endorsed that view, and while it ruled that the D.C. gun ban went too far, Justice Scalia himself acknowledged that this right is not absolute and subject to reasonable regulations enacted by local communities to keep their streets safe. Today’s ruling, the first clear statement on this issue in 127 years, will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country.

As President, I will uphold the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun-owners, hunters, and sportsmen. I know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact common-sense laws, like closing the gun show loophole and improving our background check system, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals. Today’s decision reinforces that if we act responsibly, we can both protect the constitutional right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe.