Appeals Court Upholds D.C. Gun Laws

Asks District to explain strict registration requirements

Tuesday, Oct 4, 2011  |  Updated 3:07 PM EDT
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Appeals Court Upholds D.C. Gun Laws

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A federal appeals court has ruled officials in Washington, DC can prevent residents from owning assault weapons and require them to register their handguns.

But it also says the District of Columbia needs to explain further why its numerous handgun registration requirements are necessary.

A divided three-judge panel didn't strike down any of the district's gun laws, which were approved after a 2008 Supreme Court decision that overturned a handgun ban in the nation's capital.

The court said the District's bans on assault weapons and on magazines containing more than 10 rounds of ammunition are constitutional. It also held that requiring registration of handguns is a deeply rooted practice that doesn't violate the Second Amendment.

But the court said the district needs to show an "important or substantial government interest" in maintaining its registration requirements, which include banning residents from registering more than one firearm per month, and requiring gun owners to undergo vision tests.

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