The video for this story is not available, but you can still read the transcript below.
No image

In Landmark Ruling, Divided High Court Strikes Down Gun Ban

The Supreme Court rejected a District of Columbia handgun ban in a 5-4 vote Thursday, the first time the court has issued a major ruling on gun rights. Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal discusses the case.

Read the Full Transcript


    Today's decision marked the first time the Supreme Court has ruled on the fundamental meaning of the Second Amendment, which reads, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

    The justices today interpreted that amendment as an individual's right to own a gun. Here to tell us more is NewsHour regular Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal.

    Hi, Marcia.

  • MARCIA COYLE, National Law Journal:

    Hi, Judy.


    So the last case, the last decision for this season. First, remind us what the provisions are of the D.C. gun law.


    The D.C. law generally prohibits the possession of handguns. And it also requires that lawfully owned firearms, such as registered long guns, be kept unloaded, disassembled, or trigger-locked, unless they're in a location such as a business or they're being used for a lawful recreational activity.


    And it was that law that was challenged. And what did the court rule, the majority? It was 5-4.


    It was closely divided, 5-4 decision written by Justice Antonin Scalia. Justice Scalia held that — as did the lower federal appellate court here — that the Second Amendment protects the right of an individual to possess a firearm unrelated to service in a militia and to use that firearm for lawful purposes, such as self-defense in the home.