According to recent reports, a measure outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder hoped would restrict Americans’ access to certain firearms was struck down by a federal judge.
A Washington gun rights organization, the Citizens’ Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, petitioned the court to overturn a nearly 50-year-old law prohibiting individuals from purchasing certain guns across state lines. Holder argued against repealing the Gun Control Act of 1968, which was reportedly passed in the wake of the high-profile assassinations of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
The act targeted only handgun sales, allowing the interstate purchase of shotguns and rifles. The purported impetus behind the restriction was an effort to make obtaining firearms more difficult for potential assassins or rioters.
U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor disagreed with its premise, though, explaining in his ruling that the interstate ban violates both the second and fifth amendments to the Constitution.