District of Columbia v. Heller

U.S. Case Law

Legal Definition of District of Columbia v. Heller

554 U.S. 570 (2008), held that the Second Amendment right to bear arms applies to private gun owners for their use for traditionally lawful purposes (as self-defense), and not only to members of a militia. The ruling struck down a District of Columbia law banning unregistered handguns and prohibiting the registration of handguns, and placing other firearms restrictions. In a dissent, Justice Stevens pointed out that the Supreme Court and state courts had upheld government restrictions on possession and ownership of weapons since the decision in United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939). The majority, however, found that the D.C. law's effective ban on the possession of handguns by individuals was an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment.

Comments on District of Columbia v. Heller

What made you want to look up District of Columbia v. Heller? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!