George Lyon wants a gun in his home because it’s his constitutional right. Tom Palmer says he used a gun to ward off a beating. Gillian St. Lawrence says her shotgun is useless because it has to be unloaded and have its trigger locked. The Washington Post says they are among the six Washington, D.C., residents who successfully challenged the city’s long-standing gun law. They won a ruling Friday from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in a case that could reach the Supreme Court. The three men and three women share a strong desire to keep guns legally in their homes in what they say is a violent city.
D.C. officials, who are appealing the decision, contend that easing the gun ban will put citizens at an even higher risk of crime. Even with a ban, guns are used in more than 80 percent of the city’s homicides, and police are struggling to get them out of the hands of criminals: More than 2,600 were seized last year. The case drew formidable lineups on both sides, with the National Rifle Association and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence filing court papers. The ruling marked the first time that a federal appeals court has overturned a gun control law by declaring that the Second Amendment grants a person the right to possess a firearm.