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District of Columbia v. Heller , 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

District of Columbia v. Heller , 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

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Published by Legal Momentum
The Supreme Court considered whether certain provisions in the District of Columbia's gun laws which essentially seek to ban private possession of handguns by prohibiting registration of pistols, carrying of pistols, and requiring pistols be kept disassembled and trigger-locked, violated the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes.

In a 5-4 decision, the Court struck down the laws, definitively finding that that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense in the home. Significantly, the Court distinguished its previous Second Amendment decisions as having dealt with the right to bear arms for militia purposes. The Court did place limits on Second Amendment rights, noting for instance that longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools or government buildings, would be permitted.

Given that statistics show that domestic violence perpetrators use guns with alarming frequency in their attacks, and the presence of or access to a gun greatly increases the likelihood of fatality in a domestic violence situation, Legal Momentum joined an amicus curiae brief submitted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence urging the Court to hold that the laws are constitutional. The brief argued that: (1) domestic violence is a serious crime with tragic consequences for millions of women and children nationwide; (2) firearms threaten to exacerbate an already deadly crisis; and (3) there are compelling reasons for restricting the use and availability of firearms under circumstances like those of domestic violence. The brief argued that there are many methods for attempting to reduce the use of firearms in instances of domestic violence, that the laws at issue represented the D.C. council's judgment as to how to accomplish that goal, and that the Court should defer to that judgment.
The Supreme Court considered whether certain provisions in the District of Columbia's gun laws which essentially seek to ban private possession of handguns by prohibiting registration of pistols, carrying of pistols, and requiring pistols be kept disassembled and trigger-locked, violated the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes.

In a 5-4 decision, the Court struck down the laws, definitively finding that that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense in the home. Significantly, the Court distinguished its previous Second Amendment decisions as having dealt with the right to bear arms for militia purposes. The Court did place limits on Second Amendment rights, noting for instance that longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools or government buildings, would be permitted.

Given that statistics show that domestic violence perpetrators use guns with alarming frequency in their attacks, and the presence of or access to a gun greatly increases the likelihood of fatality in a domestic violence situation, Legal Momentum joined an amicus curiae brief submitted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence urging the Court to hold that the laws are constitutional. The brief argued that: (1) domestic violence is a serious crime with tragic consequences for millions of women and children nationwide; (2) firearms threaten to exacerbate an already deadly crisis; and (3) there are compelling reasons for restricting the use and availability of firearms under circumstances like those of domestic violence. The brief argued that there are many methods for attempting to reduce the use of firearms in instances of domestic violence, that the laws at issue represented the D.C. council's judgment as to how to accomplish that goal, and that the Court should defer to that judgment.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Legal Momentum on Jun 16, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/18/2014

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No. 07-290
W
ILSON
-E
PES
P
RINTING
C
O
.,
 
I
NC
.
 
 
(202)
 
789-0096
 
 
W
ASHINGTON
,
 
D.
 
C.
 
20002
 
I
N
T
HE
 
Supreme Court of the United States
————D
ISTRICT OF
C
OLUMBIA AND
 A 
DRIAN
M.
 
F
ENTY 
,M
 AYOR OF THE
D
ISTRICT OF
C
OLUMBIA 
,
 Petitioners
, v.D
ICK 
 A 
NTHONY 
H
ELLER
,
 Respondent
.————
On Writ of Certiorari to theUnited States Court of Appealsfor the District of Columbia Circuit
————
BRIEF
 AMICI CURIAE
OF NATIONALNETWORK TO END DOMESTIC VIOLENCE,NATIONAL NETWORK TO END DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FUND, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE,(CONTINUED ON INSIDE COVER)
 
IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONERS
————
January 11, 2008B
RUCE
D.
 
S
OKLER
* A 
NDREW
N.
 
N
 ATHANSON
 H
ELEN
G
EROSTATHOS
G
UYTON
 J
ENNIFER
C.
 
E
LLIS
  A 
STOR
H.
 
H
EAVEN
 M
INTZ
,
 
L
EVIN
,
 
C
OHN
,
 
F
ERRIS
,
 
G
LOVSKY AND
P
OPEO
, P.C.701 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.Suite 900Washington, D.C. 20004(202) 434-7300
Counsel for Amici Curiae
* Counsel of Record
 
 ALABAMA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ARIZONA COALITION AGAINSTDOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ARKANSASCOALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE,CALIFORNIA PARTNERSHIP TO ENDDOMESTIC VIOLENCE, CONNECTICUTCOALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE,DELAWARE COALITION AGAINSTDOMESTIC VIOLENCE, FAMILY VIOLENCEPREVENTION FUND, FLORIDA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, GEORGIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
,
HAWAII STATE COALITION AGAINSTDOMESTIC VIOLENCE, IDAHO COALITION AGAINST SEXUAL & DOMESTIC VIOLENCE,INDIANA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, INC., IOWA COALITION AGAINSTDOMESTIC VIOLENCE, KANSAS COALITION AGAINST SEXUAL AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, KENTUCKY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ASSOCIATION, LEGALMOMENTUM, LOUISIANA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, INC.,JANE DOE INC. (THE MASSACHUSETTSCOALITION AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE), MICHIGANCOALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC ANDSEXUAL VIOLENCE,
 
MISSISSIPPI COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, MONTANA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC ANDSEXUAL VIOLENCE, NATIONAL ALLIANCETO END SEXUAL VIOLENCE, NATIONALCENTER ON DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE
,
NEVADA NETWORK AGAINSTDOMESTIC VIOLENCE, NEW HAMPSHIRECOALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC AND
 
SEXUAL VIOLENCE
,
NEW JERSEY COALITION FOR BATTERED WOMEN,NORTH CAROLINA COALITION AGAINSTDOMESTIC VIOLENCE, NORTH DAKOTA COUNCIL ON ABUSED WOMEN'SSERVICES/COALITION AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT IN NORTH DAKOTA, ACTION OHIO,OHIO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE NETWORK,OREGON COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE, PENNSYLVANICOALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE,PUERTO RICO COALITION AGAINSTDOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT (COORDINADORA PAZ PARA LA MUJER, INC.), RHODE ISLAND COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
,
SOUTHCAROLINA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT, SOUTHDAKOTA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT,TENNESSEE COALITION AGAINSTDOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE, VERMONT NETWORK AGAINST DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE, WASHINGTONSTATE COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, WEST VIRGINIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, WISCONSINCOALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE,WYOMING COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT
 

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