UPDATED: July 27, 2014 2:08 p.m.

LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) – A federal judge on Saturday struck down D.C.’s ban on carrying handguns in public.

U.S. District Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. ruled in Palmer v. District of Columbia that the District’s prohibition against carrying a pistol outside the home is unconstitutional. The ruling also allows non-residents to carry handguns in public for self-defense.

“…there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny,” Scullin said in an opinion.

It is not yet clear whether Washington will appeal the decision or what effect the ban will have on enforcement.

The lawsuit, filed in 2009 by three District residents, a New Hampshire resident and the Second Amendment Foundation, followed a 2008 Supreme Court decision that struck down D.C.’s ban on handguns.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Alan Gura, tells WNEW that gun owners must still obtain a permit to carry their weapon.

“The city is allowed to regulate the carrying of handguns,” he said.

In 2011, an appeals court required handguns to be registered.

Read the full ruling here.

WNEW’s Heather Curtis contributed to this report. Follow her and WNEW on Twitter.


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