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In a setback to the powerful National Rife Association (NRA) and gun advocates, a federal judge Friday upheld the Washington, DC’s ban on assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition clips enacted last year after the Supreme Court struck down an earlier ban on all handguns in the city.
U. S. District Court Judge Ricardo Urbina ruled against three challengers to the July 2009 law, including Dick Anthony Heller, who took the city’s 1976 ban on handguns all the way to the Supreme Court, which struck it down in 2008.
The Supremes ruled that the handgun ban violated the US Constitution’s second amendment on the “right to bear arms,” and said Washington residents had the right to own handguns for self-defense.
But Judge Urbina told Heller and his felow gun advocates when Urbina the people of Washington had no Constitutional Right to own semi-automatic weapons, “assault-style” weapons.
“Assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding devices fall outside the scope of the core Second Amendment right,” Urbina said in his decision.
“Today’s ruling affirms our efforts to ensure the highest possible standards of safety for District residents,” Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty responded in a written statement.
“Once again, the courts have rejected the gun lobby’s attempt to transform the core right to guns in the home for self-defense into a mandate for their ‘any gun, anywhere’ agenda,” said the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Heller and the NRA are expected to appeal.