Prior to the ruling, it was not lawful to carry an unlicensed firearm, specifically a handgun. The ruling in favor of legalizing handguns was groundbreaking and served to challenge the hopes of many that America would soon embrace national gun control.
The core of the debate on gun control and the second amendment has to do with interpretations of the second amendment as well as America’s gun epidemic. Individuals who support the right to bare arms, feel that the right to own a gun is fundamental such as the right to freedom of speech or the right to vote. The problem however, is that gun violence is one of the leading causes of death in America and has only increased over the past few decades. The case of the District of Columbia versus Heller brought light to the fact that this particular area of the country held the strictest of gun regulations, “The landmark ruling overturned the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns, the strictest gun-control law in the country, and appeared certain to usher in a fresh round of litigation over gun rights throughout the country”(Greenhouse, 2008). Ultimately, the decision of the court stated that it was not the responsibility or within the jurisdiction of the court to reject or ignore the second amendment. On this basis, the decision to strike down the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns was made.
In the case of the District of columbia versus Heller, a special police officer is forbidden to keep a handgun in his home and therefore contends the rigid D.C. gun laws which feasibly contradict the allowances made by the second amendment, “Respondent Dick Heller is a D. C. special police officer authorized to carry a handgun while on duty at the Federal Judicial Center. He applied for a registration certificate for a handgun that he wished to keep at home, but the District refused.