A Mixed Decision on the District of Columbia's Guns Laws

The influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled against some gun regulations in the nation’s capital while upholding others.

Dick Heller (Jason Reed / Reuters)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Friday delivered a mixed ruling in a case that challenged gun laws in the nation’s capital.

As Lydia Wheeler reported in The Hill, the triumvirate, in a 2-1 vote, “upheld the city’s requirements that force gun owners to register long guns, get fingerprinted, photographed and appear in person when registering a gun, pay a registration fee and complete a firearms safety and training course.”

But the influential court also knocked down four existing restrictions, including one that requires gun owners to re-register their weapons every three years and another that requires them bring their guns when first registering.  The court also decided that the government “could not require applicants to pass a test concerning local gun laws or prevent people from registering more than one pistol during a 30-day period,” Reuters reported.

In her dissent, Judge Karen Henderson said she would have kept all 10 restrictions in place. The case was brought forth by Dick Heller, who previously led a legal effort to have D.C.’s 32-year-old ban on handguns overturned. Local officials, including the city’s mayor, expressed disappointment over the ruling.