Federal judge rules DC ban on handguns unconstitutional

WASHINGTON Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:05pm EDT

Guns are seen inside a display case at the Cabela's store in Fort Worth, Texas, June 26, 2008. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

Guns are seen inside a display case at the Cabela's store in Fort Worth, Texas, June 26, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal judge on Saturday overturned Washington D.C.'s ban on carrying handguns outside the home, saying it was unconstitutional.

"There is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia's total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny," Judge Frederick Scullin said in an opinion.

"Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia's complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is

unconstitutional," he added in his 19-page ruling.

The court ordered the city to allow residents to carry handguns outside their homes and to let non-residents carry them as well.

Scullin made the ruling in the PALMER et al v. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA et al case, which has been dragging on for five years.

In 2008, the Supreme Court struck down D.C.'s all-out ban on handguns on the basis that it violated the right to bear arms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment.

An appeals court in 2011 required handguns to be registered.

(Reporting by Sandra Maler; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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