I doubt this will "shape firearms laws nationwide". The 9th Circus has already declared loudly that the 2nd refers only to militias and collective groups. The 5th Circuit has said just as loudly that it refers to individuals. Now the DC Circuit will probably pick one of those two versions. Either way, it won't be news. Only thing of any significance this might do (aside from keeping a few hundred thousand crime victims disarmed before their heavily-armed assailants) might be to get the Supreme Court off its duff at last, and get it to grant cert and rule on the question, possibly re-examining the travesty of US v. Miller in the process. But that's probably wishful thinking on my part. An interesting facet here (please correct me if I'm wrong) is that there is no "state" whose powers might be usurped by a Federal ruling. The District of Columbia is not a "state", nor does it reside within a state. It apparently has a City Council of some kind (correct?). But doesn't Congress itself decide all DC matters that fall outside that city council? I wonder if that makes any difference in 2nd amendment jurisprudence? --------------------------- http://www.wftv.com/politics/10485690/detail.html D.C. Argues Gun Rights Only For Militias Lawyers Say 2nd Amendment Doesn't Apply To Individuals POSTED: 5:33 pm EST December 7, 2006 UPDATED: 6:01 pm EST December 7, 2006 WASHINGTON -- In a case that could shape firearms laws nationwide, attorneys for the District of Columbia argued Thursday that the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms applies only to militias, not individuals. The city defended as constitutional its long-standing ban on handguns, a law that some gun opponents have advocated elsewhere. Civil liberties groups and pro-gun organizations say the ban in unconstitutional. At issue in the case before a federal appeals court is whether the 2nd Amendment right to "keep and bear arms" applies to all people or only to "a well regulated militia." The Bush administration has endorsed individual gun-ownership rights but the Supreme Court has never settled the issue. If the dispute makes it to the high court, it would be the first case in nearly 70 years to address the amendment's scope. The court disappointed gun owner groups in 2003 when it refused to take up a challenge to California's ban on high-powered weapons. In the Washington, D.C. case, a lower-court judge told six city residents in 2004 that they did not have a constitutional right to own handguns. The plaintiffs include residents of high-crime neighborhoods who want guns for protection. Courts have upheld bans on automatic weapons and sawed-off shotguns but this case is unusual because it involves a prohibition on all pistols. Voters passed a similar ban in San Francisco last year but a judge ruled it violated state law. The Washington case is not clouded by state law and hinges directly on the Constitution. "We interpret the 2nd Amendment in military terms," said Todd Kim, the District's solicitor general, who told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that the city would also have had the authority to ban all weapons. "Show me anybody in the 19th century who interprets the 2nd Amendment the way you do," Judge Laurence Silberman said. "It doesn't appear until much later, the middle of the 20th century." Of the three judges, Silberman was the most critical of Kim's argument and noted that, despite the law, handguns were common in the District. Silberman and Judge Thomas B. Griffith seemed to wrestle, however, with the meaning of the amendment's language about militias. If a well-regulated militia is no longer needed, they asked, is the right to bear arms still necessary? "That's quite a task for any court to decide that a right is no longer necessary," Alan Gura, an attorney for the plaintiffs, replied. "If we decide that it's no longer necessary, can we erase any part of the Constitution?"