The District Court for the District of Columbia heard a case which challenged the District of Columbia’s law which banned handguns and places restrictions on longguns, preventing District of Columbia residents from defending themselves. The District Court held that this law violated the 2nd Amendment of the federal constitution, and the Government appealed. The Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit agreed that this law was unconstitutional, and affirmed. The Government appealed to the Supreme Court, which will likely decide the case in June. The oral argument for the case took place before the Supreme Court on March 18, 2008.
The transcript and audio from the oral argument in District of Columbia v. Heller can be found at Oyez.com.
After reading the transcript and listening to the audio, I am of the opinion that the Supreme Court will hold that there is an individual right to bear arms, and that the District of Columbia’s handgun ban (and requirement that longguns be kept under trigger lock or broken down in a non-functional state) violates this right. I’m hopeful that the Supreme Court will then incorporate the 2nd Amendment’s individual right to bear arms into the 14th Amendment, which would apply it against state and local government, but I’m less confident that this will happen.