The U.S. Supreme Court is considering District of Columbia v. Heller, a challenge to the district's ban on handguns inside Washington. A group of residents say the ordinance violates their constitutional right to bear arms, while Washington's attorneys argue that the Second Amendment applies to militias, not individuals.

American City & County asked the readers of its weekly e-mail newsletter if the Supreme Court should uphold the city's ordinance or rule it unconstitutional. Below are some of the responses.

“The [Washington] ban exceeds [reasonable] limits [on gun ownership] with an outright ban, and it should be ruled unconstitutional. I have read several reports from groups like the [National Rifle Association (NRA)] who claim that gun crime has risen dramatically since the ban was passed. If the NRA is accurate and gun crime is actually worse, there is virtually no justification for a ban.”
Roger Buffington, utility supervisor, Grand Rapids, Mich.

“It should be found unconstitutional. The founding fathers placed the Second Amendment in the Constitution for citizens to protect themselves against a government gone awry. All citizens would be the militia to handle [that] situation.”
Bob Fairbanks, building official, Hutchinson, Kan.

“The Supreme Court should uphold the district's handgun control ordinance. Washington has enough problems [without] an armed and dangerous minority thinking it's OK to pack a side arm and use it to settle disputes.”
Jay Gsell, Genesee County, N.Y., manager

“If residents and visitors cannot lawfully possess handguns, then how shall personal protection be afforded to anyone? No wonder the city's crime rate against persons remains unusually high. Criminals [victimize] those who are the least likely to offer resistance because they are law-abiding and will not be armed. Those are the folks who most need to be able to own and bear firearms when they need them!”
Pete Kirby, retired 911 supervisor, Fairfax County, Va.