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District of Columbia v Heller Research Papers

Supreme court cases that examine the constitutionality of various proposals are frequently written about by the writers at Paper Masters. Our legal and judicial writers examine cases such as DC vs. Heller and explain their outcome in a case brief or in a complete research paper.

One of the more recent landmark Supreme Court cases is District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the Court, by a 5-4 decision, ruled that individual citizens did have the right to possess firearms, largely without restriction, for lawful purposes, such as self-defense. District of Columbia v HellerThis ruling was issued on June 26, 2008. Specifically, it struck down part of the Firearms Control Regulation Act of 1975 as unconstitutional, based on a majority interpretation of the Second Amendment.

Within the boundaries of Washington, D.C., the Firearms Control Act restricted residents from owning handguns, and that all rifles or shotguns needed to be unloaded, disassembled, or secured with a trigger lock. In 2003, six DC residents filed a lawsuit, challenging the constitutionality of this law. Eventually, the case reached the Supreme Court, the first time since 1939 that the high court had chosen to rule on a Second Amendment issue.

The case was controversial on both sides of the gun issue.

  • Many members of Congress, along with Vice President Dick Cheney signed an amicus curiae brief
  • The amicus curiae brief affirmed that the ban on firearms by Congress should be overturned.
  • Oral arguments took place on March 18, 2008, with the ruling issued, as tradition, at the end of the Court’s term in June.
  • The Court decided that the 2nd Amendment does not guarantee the right to keep and carry any weapon for any reason at all, but that there can be no restrictions on handguns for lawful intent.

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