Justice Scalia wrote the Court’s decision on District of Columbia v. Heller on Jun 26, 2008:
Overturning DC’s handgun ban, the court ruled that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to own a gun for private use–not only in connection with service in a militia. The 5-to-4 decision, District of Columbia v. Heller, left unanswered questions, but also much room for continued gun regulation, short of an absolute ban.
HELD: Delivered by Scalia; joined by Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito
The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable the citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms.