Appeals court upholds D.C. gun ban

October 4, 2011

A divided appeals court Tuesday upheld a District ban on semi-automatic rifles and large-capacity ammunition clips.

In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld as constitutional a D.C. law that prohibited possession of assult rifles and “large-capacity magazines.”

The court backed some D.C. firearm registration requirements but sent others back to a federal judge for reconsideration of an earlier ruling.

Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg wrote the opinion. He was joined by Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson. Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh dissented, writing that he believed the bans and registration requirement were unconstitutional.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the District’s gun ban, ruling that the law was unconstitutional. In light of that landmark ruling, which found an “individual right to keep and bear arms,” the District enacted new firearm regulations that were at the center of Tuesday’s ruling.

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