It’s been widely speculated that the U.S. Court of Appeals decision striking down Washington, D.C.’s gun ban may result in the most sweeping Supreme Court decision on the subject in modern times. But first Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty must decide whether to defend the law before the high court or write new, looser laws governing how city residents can keep guns in their homes, reports the Washington Post. As he wades into a high-stakes debate over the Second Amendment, the new mayor faces the possibility that the city could lose the case and undercut decades of hard-fought gun-control legislation nationwide.
Some gun-control advocates fear that an adverse Supreme Court ruling could lead to more challenges and the collapse of tough gun regulations in New York, Chicago, and Detroit. Other potential casualties include federal laws that require background checks for gun buyers or ban the manufacture of machine guns for civilian use. Said Joshua Horwitz of the D.C. based Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, “Despite all the rhetoric about ‘We’re taking this all the way to the Supreme Court,’ you have to really think this one through. Everyone is cognizant of the fact that this is probably the high-water mark for Second Amendment cases.” Last week, the full D.C. Circuit refused to reconsider the city’s arguments — leaving the Supreme Court as the only place for a further appeal and giving D.C. 90 days to decide.