Court Challenge Filed Over D.C. ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban

by Tommy Grant
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If it seems like you’ve seen a lot of news about the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) recently it’s because you have. The organizations is one of the most active in the nation at challenging unconstitutional firearm laws in courtrooms throughout the country.

In celebration of our uniquely American freedom, the day before Independence Day FPC announced a new lawsuit challenging Washington, D.C.’s, ban on common semi-automatic rifles. The case, Clemendor v. District of Columbia, which will be heard by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, argues that the ban violates the Second Amendment to the U.S. Bill of Rights.

Brandon Combs, FPC president, believes the facts in the case point directly toward the D.C. government not having a legitimate argument for the court to uphold the law.

“People in Washington, D.C., have a right to keep and bear semiautomatic weapons like AR-15 rifles,” Combs said in a press release announcing the lawsuit. “As we have already shown, laws like the District of Columbia’s ban on so-called ‘assault weapons’ are unconstitutional. Bureaucrats and political celebrities aren’t above the law, and the District is not exempt from following the Constitution. FPC looks forward to restoring liberty in our nation’s capital.”

As the complaint argues, such firearms have a long history of common use in our country, and banning them is a serious infringement.

“Semiautomatic firearms ‘traditionally have been widely accepted as lawful possessions.’” The complaint states, citing Justice Sotomayor’s Cargill dissent. “And the D.C. Circuit has previously held ‘it is clear enough … that semi-automatic rifles and magazines holding more than 10 rounds are indeed in ‘common use.’”

The complaint also cited a number of facts and figures to bolster the “common use” argument of America’s favorite rifle—the AR-15.

“AR-15 rifles are among the most popular firearms in the nation, and they are owned by millions of Americans,” the complaint states. “According to industry sources, approximately 20% of all firearms sold in recent years were rifles of the type banned by the District. In 2020, more than 20 million adults participated in target or sport shooting with semi-automatic rifles like those banned in the District…

“The banned semi-automatic firearms, like all other semi-automatic firearms, fire only one round for each pull of the trigger. They are not machine guns.”

In the end, FPC is petitioning the court to declare that the acquisition and possession of semi-automatic firearms banned by Washington, D.C., are protected by the Second Amendment and to block all enforcement of the ban.

Those wanting to learn more about FPC and the ongoing courtroom battles it is fighting to save the Second Amendment can find that information at firearmspolicy.org.

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