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Ten years ago this week, the Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in District of Columbia v. Heller. The court struck down the city’s handgun ban and held for the first time in history that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep a gun in the home.
Gun control groups decried the ruling, warning that cities would be left without effective measures to curb gun violence. Gun rights advocates praised the decision and suggested it could lead courts to strike down gun regulations across the country.
In the decade since the ruling, the court has agreed to hear just one gun case. And a new study of more than a thousand Second Amendment challenges brought since Heller found that most fail in the lower courts. Several states have passed laws banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and appeals courts have so far upheld those bans.
The revolution on gun laws that was both anticipated and feared after DC v Heller hasn’t happened. What does that say about the gun debate in America?
Produced by Danielle Knight
- Avery Gardiner Co-president, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence; @AveryWGardiner
- Clark Neily Vice president for criminal justice, Cato Institute; co-counsel in DC v. Heller Supreme Court case; author, "Terms of Engagement"; @ConLawWarrior
- Eric Ruben Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice; adjunct professor, New York University School of Law; @EricMRuben
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