Today's decision marks the first time in its history that the Supreme Court has clearly established that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of gun ownership to individual citizens, rather than granting the states a "collective" right to form armed militias.
The Second Amendment 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.
In the Court's majority opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, "It was plainly the understanding in the post-Civil War Congress that the Second Amendment protected an individual right to use arms for self-defense."
The D.C. law overturned today prohibited the private ownership of handguns by any District resident who did not own one prior to the law’s enactment in 1976. Considered one of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, it also required all legally owned handguns to be stored unloaded and either disassembled or fitted with trigger locks.
District of Columbia v. Heller (Civil Liberties)
Annie Get Your Gun (Women's Issues)