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Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan Applaud DC Circuit Decision Upholding District Gun Laws


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(WASHINGTON, DC) -- Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan welcomed today’s decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which upheld key provisions of the District’s firearms-control law. The provisions upheld include many enacted by the Council of the District of Columbia in response to the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Heller v. District of Columbia, which struck down the District’s handgun ban.

A panel of the appeals court upheld the law’s requirement that handguns be registered, its ban on assault weapons and its ban on ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds. The court also ordered various other provisions of the law to be considered further by the federal trial court, saying that the factual record must be developed more fully to rule on their constitutionality.

“Today’s ruling upholding common-sense gun regulations is an important victory for the District of Columbia,” said Mayor Gray. “It upholds our government’s authority to pass reasonable gun laws, and it supports the basic registration requirements as well as the bans on assault weapons and large magazines -- each of which are key components of the District’s battle against violent crime.”

Attorney General Nathan added, “The decision not only holds that the Second Amendment permits a simple requirement that handguns be registered, but it also allows the District to argue in court that the statute’s specific registration requirements, like those promoting training for safe gun ownership, serve an important governmental function. The Office of the Attorney General is prepared to do so, and looks forward to the opportunity to make that showing in court.”