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Dick Heller, plaintiff in D.C. v Heller, at CPAC in 2018. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A decade ago, the Supreme Court decided District of Columbia v. Heller — arguably the most important decision regarding the application of Second Amendment rights.

The big picture: The fight for stronger gun-control laws has intensified after shootings like those in Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, and Parkland, and the Heller decision has been a focal point of court rulings regarding gun rights around the country. Since Heller, and a landmark Second Amendment case in 2010, the Supreme Court has declined to take on cases brought by gun rights activists, NPR reports. But as Justice Anthony Kennedy retires and President Trump eyes a more conservative replacement, that could change.

The details
  • The court decided in 2008 that the Second Amendment allows private citizens to posses firearms unconnected with military service, and "use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."
  • And it ruled that the Second Amendment is not "unlimited." Per Justice Scalia: "It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."
  • It also labeled D.C.'s handgun ban and trigger-lock requirement unconstitutional, as they stood in the way of citizens' right to self-defense.
How it's been used
  • In 2017, D.C. officials declined to appeal a D.C. Court of Appeals ruling that said D.C. citizens didn't need to show a "good reason" to carry concealed. Per the Washington Post, the fear of the Supreme Court striking down more restrictions as it did with the Heller case convinced them not to appeal it.
  • A Massachusetts judge decided in April that AR-15 rifles aren't protected under the Second Amendment, citing the decision in Heller that the Second Amendment has limitations.
  • A Michigan judge, Mark Cavanagh, referenced Heller this year after the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the University of Michigan could keep its ban on guns on campus.
  • The Supreme Court has declined to hear challenges on similar laws which banned assault weapons, in Maryland and Highland Park, Illinois, the Washington Post reported, which "can be read as consistent with the court's ruling" in Heller, specifically Scalia's note that the Second Amendment is not unlimited.

Go deeper

Perfect storm brewing for extreme politicians

Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Redistricting and a flood of departing incumbents are paving the way for more extreme candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Driving the news: At least 19 House districts in 12 states are primed to attract such candidates — hard partisans running in strongly partisan districts — according to an Axios analysis of districts as measured by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI).

Updated 3 hours ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Updated 5 hours ago - Technology

Mayors see cryptocurrency as a way to address income inequality

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting in D.C. this week, there's buzz around the idea of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Why it matters: Cities have been experimenting with newfangled ways to address income inequality — like guaranteed income programs — and the latest wave of trials could involve paying benefits or dividends in bitcoin, stablecoin or other digital currencies.