This morning's Washington Post reports that the District has decided to appeal the recent U.S. Court of Appeals decision that the city's prohibition against residents keeping handguns in their homes violates the Constitution.
I find this issue particularly interesting because my senior thesis in college concerned the constitutionality of gun control. At the time, it was clear that any Second Amendment case would be dead on arrival in federal court because so many courts of appeal had ruled that way (after a very short analysis). But since that time, abundant scholarship laid the groundwork for recognizing that a right to bear a firearm is an individual right separate from an organized militia. Then, in 2001, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals released a long scholarly opinion finding that an individual right exists.
Although Mayor Fenty has the impression that District residents uniformly support the ban on handguns in the home, the anecdotal information I have is that some residents do support an individual's right to a handgun. After asking for any crime issues that residents wished to raise, I asked an open-ended question concerning the gun ban to every resident at the door I reached in 3 hours (13 people). Five people supported the right, while eight support the District's ban. The supporters of gun rights were three black males, one white male, and one black woman, and supporters of the gun ban were just as diverse. However, supporters of the gun ban tended to be more passionate about their viewpoint.