US high court to rule on Washington DC handgun ban Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:35pm ET144
By Randall Mikkelsen
WASHINGTON, Nov 20 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court said on Tuesday it would decide whether handguns can be banned in Washington, D.C., a case that could produce its first ruling in nearly 70 years on the right of Americans to carry guns.
The nation's highest court agreed to hear an appeal by the District of Columbia government arguing that the city's 31-year-old law banning private possession of handguns in the nation's capital should be upheld as constitutional.
The justices said they would review a precedent-setting ruling by a U.S. appeals court that broadly interpreted an individual's constitutional right to bear arms under the Second Amendment and struck down Washington's law for violating those rights.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments most likely in March, with a ruling expected by the end of June. The decision could become an issue in the 2008 elections.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said it hoped the high court would overturn a "clearly erroneous" ruling.
"The Supreme Court's decision in this case will be extremely significant -- the most important decision on guns in nearly 70 years and maybe the most important ever regarding the Second Amendment," said the group's president, Paul Helmke.
this hasn't been reviewed at this level since 1929
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