U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Several D.C. Gun Laws, Voids Others


A federal appeals court has struck down as unconstitutional several strict gun registration laws in Washington, D.C., but upheld other restrictions aimed at public safety, the Associated Press reports. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 that the city cannot ban gun owners from registering more than one pistol per month or require owners to re-register a gun every three years. The court also invalidated requirements that owners make a personal appearance to register a gun and pass a test about firearms laws. The court upheld other parts of the law, requiring that rifles and shotguns be registered along with handguns. The ruling also allows gun owners to be fingerprinted and photographed, pay certain fees and complete firearms safety training.

The ruling was written by Judge Douglas Ginsburg joined by Judge Patricia Millett. Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson dissented in part, saying she would have upheld all the registration laws. She said the majority should have shown more deference to public officials trying to create a workable firearms policy. Henderson noted that Washington is different from other jurisdictions given the “unique security risks” in a city filled with high-level government officials, diplomats, monuments and government buildings that ban guns.

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