Kate Hooker | Bloomberg LawHeller v. District of Columbia, No. 10-7036, 2011 BL 256035 (D.C. Cir. Oct. 4, 2011) A panel of the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that certain portions of the District's gun control legislation did not violate theSecond Amendment rights of gun owners on October 4, 2011. Specifically, the Court upheld the laws requiring a basic firearms registration scheme for handguns, as well as an outright ban on semi-automatic rifles and magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down D.C. legislation banning handgun possession in the home as a violation of the Second Amendment right of individuals to keep and bear arms. District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008). In response to the decision, the District passed the Firearms Regulation Amendment Act of 2008 (FRA), D.C. Law 17-372, in December 2008. Under the new statutory scheme, which imposes extensive gun registration requirements, every owner of a firearm is required to (1) disclose his or her name, address, and occupation, as well as certain information about each gun that he or she owns; (2) submit each gun for ballistics testing; (3) appear in person at the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD); (4) register no more than one gun in a given 30-day period; and (5) renew his or her registration every three years. In addition, gun owners will not be able to obtain the required registration unless they (1) meet the vision requirements necessary for a driver's license; (2) demonstrate knowledge of gun safety practices and the applicable laws pertaining to guns; (3) pass a background check every six years; and (4) attend a firearms safety course. The FRA also prohibits semi automatic rifles, or "assault weapons," as well as magazines that are capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition. A group of gun owners who had varying degrees of success complying with the FRA's registration requirements, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia attempting to invalidate the law. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the District, and plaintiffs filed a timely appeal.
Registration Requirements Remanded to District Court
Ban on Semi-Automatic Rifles and Large-Capacity Magazines Upheld
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