The opinion of the court was delivered by: EMMET SULLIVAN, District Judge
Plaintiffs in this case are six residents of the District of Columbia
who wish to possess a handgun or an assembled long gun in their homes
for self-defense but do not do so because they "fear arrest, criminal
prosecution, and fine." Compl. at 5 1, 3, 5, and 6. Plaintiff Heller
has applied for a permit to possess a handgun in his home and has been
rejected. Compl. at ¶ 2. The other five plaintiffs have not applied
for a permit. None of the plaintiffs have asserted membership in the
District of Columbia Militia.
Plaintiffs argue that D.C. Code § 7-2502.02(a)(4)*fn1, barring
registration of handguns, D.C. Code § 7-2507.02*fn2, barring the
possession of firearms within the home or possessed land, and D.C. Code
§§ 22-4504*fn3 and 4515, forbidding the carrying of firearms within
one's home or possessed land without a license, ("D.C. gun control laws")
should be permanently enjoined because these laws violate the Second
Amendment, which establishes a fundamental individual right to bear
arms. Plaintiffs are asking this Court to grant Summary Judgment in their
Defendants in this case are the District of Columbia and Anthony
Williams, Mayor of the District of Columbia. Defendants argue that the
Second Amendment does not provide an individual right to bear arms.
Defendants ask the Court to grant their Motion to Dismiss.
When considering a Motion to Dismiss, the Court construes the facts in
the complaint as true and construes all reasonable inferences in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Swierkiewicz v. Sorema,
534 U.S. 506, 508 (2002). A Motion to Dismiss is granted and the
complaint dismissed only if no relief could be granted on those facts.
See Sparrow v. United Air Lines
Inc., 216 F.3d 1111, 1114 (D.C. Cir. 2002).
In reviewing a Motion for Summary Judgment, the Court must first
determine if there are genuine issues of material fact. Shields v.
Eli Lilly & Co., 895 F.2d 1463, 1465 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (citing
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)). Summary judgment should be granted only if the
moving party has shown that there is no genuine issue of material fact
and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986).
A. Supreme Court Analysis of the Second Amendment Right
Plaintiffs move for summary judgment in this case on the grounds that
the D.C. gun control laws are unconstitutional because they violate the
Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Defendants have filed a Motion
to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint because plaintiffs have not made any
showing that their possession or use of a firearm has some reasonable
relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated
The Second Amendment provides:
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.
U.S. CONST, amend. II. The U.S. Supreme Court has not considered a direct
Second Amendment challenge since its 1939 decision in United States v.
Miller, 307 U.S. 174
(1939). In Miller, the district
court granted the defendant's Motion to Dismiss his indictment under the
National Firearms Act for unlawfully transporting in interstate commerce
an unregistered double barrel 12-gauge shotgun with a barrel of less than
18 inches, on the grounds that the Act was "in contravention of the
Second Amendment to the Constitution." United States v. Miller,
26 F. Supp. 1002, 1003 (1939).
The U.S. Supreme Court, on appeal of the dismissal, held that
In the absence of any evidence tending to show that
possession or use of a `shotgun having a barrel of
less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has
some reasonable relationship to the preservation or
efficiency of a well-regulated militia, we cannot say
that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep
and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not
within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of
the ordinary military equipment or that its use could
contribute to the common defense.
Id. at 178.
The Court noted that, as originally adopted, the U.S. Constitution
reserved to the states "the Authority of training the Militia according
to the discipline prescribed by Congress." Id. (citing U.S. CONST. art. 1
§ 8). Accordingly, the Court reasoned that it was "[w]ith obvious
purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness
of such forces the declaration and guarantee of ...