A ban on private ownership of handguns in 1976 in
Washington DC is being contested today [Reuters]
In a landmark case which could have far-reaching effects on gun laws in the US, the supreme court is discussing for the first time in decades whether the constitution guarantees individuals the right to bear arms.

The case relates to Washington DC, which implemented a ban on private ownership of handguns back in 1976 in an effort to cut violent crime.

That is now being contested by a security guard who argues that he is entitled to defend himself at home. A ruling is expected later this year in June.

Why are the notions of gun control and liberty so closely intertwined in the US? Why is the gun lobby so powerful? And what are the implications of this case?

Inside Story, with presenter Sami Zeidan, fires some shots across the bows.

Watch part one of this episode of Inside Story on YouTube

This episode of Inside Story aired on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 at 17:30 GMT


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