A federal judge on Thursday ruled that a D.C. law requiring guns to be registered, mandating safety training and limiting the number of pistol purchases per month do not violate Second Amendment protections of the right to bear arms.

U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg dismissed with prejudice a sweeping challenge to the District’s handgun laws brought by a group of plaintiffs led by Dick Anthony Heller in a ruling that opens with a recounting of some of the city’s most notorious recent shootings.

The District of Columbia knows gun violence. Notorious for a time as the ‘murder capital’ of the United States, it recorded over 400 homicides annually in the early 1990s — more than one for every 1500 residents. While safety in the District has improved markedly in this millennium, residents will not soon forget the violence of the more recent past: the wounding of seven children outside the National Zoo on Easter Monday in 2000, the triple murder at Colonel Brooks’ Tavern in 2003, the five killed in the South Capitol Street shootings in 2010, and the twelve shot to death inside the Washington Navy Yard only a few months ago. These number just a few of the lives lost to guns in our city’s recent memory.”

— Judge James E. Boasberg

“The people of this city, acting through their elected representatives, have sought to combat gun violence and promote public safety,” Judge Boasberg wrote in the opinion released Thursday. “The Court finds that they have done so in a constitutionally permissible manner.”

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