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Court Upholds D.C.'s Assault Weapons Ban

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A federal appeals court has upheld the District of Columbia's ban on assault weapons, which was implemented after the 2008 Supreme Court decision that ruled the city's overall gun ban was unconstitutional.
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A federal appeals court has upheld the District of Columbia's ban on assault weapons, which was implemented after the 2008 Supreme Court decision that ruled the city's overall gun ban was unconstitutional.

A federal appeals court has sided with the District in the latest fight over gun ownership. The court ruled the city can prevent residents from owning assault weapons and require them to register handguns. A divided three-judge panel also upheld the city's ban on large-capacity ammunition clips.

D.C. enacted new gun laws after the 2008 Supreme Court decision overturning the District's handgun ban. Council member Phil Mendelson, who helped craft the new requirements, says he's pleased because this is the same appeals court that initially struck down the city's gun laws.

"So the same circuit has now looked at what our revisions are, and, in spite of the criticism from the right, the circuit has upheld important provisions of the law," says Mendelson.

But the court did not rule on some of the District's other registration rules, saying the District needs to show an "important or substantial government interest" in maintaining other registration requirements, which include banning residents from registering more than one firearm per month, and requiring gun owners to undergo vision tests. That case could go back to the lower court.

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