D.C. Gun Registration Upheld and FCC Proposes Net Neutrality Rules

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on May 19, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The rallying cry for net neutrality is still gaining momentum, as the FCC announced this week that it is seeking public comment on a proposed set of net neutrality rules.

And, as the future of the Internet is up in the air, a district judge upholds a D.C. gun registration law. Read on to learn more.

FCC Net Neutrality Proposal

Over the course of the past few years, the FCC's authority to regulate the Internet has been challenged. While it didn't classify Internet service providers (ISP) as utilities, it tried to create rules for them. In 2010, Comcast successfully challenged FCC authority to regulate an ISP's network management practices.

Earlier this year, the D.C. Circuit vacated the FCC's anti-blocking and anti-discrimination rules. The court basically that they could regulate ISP's -- if they classified them as common carriers, or utilities, but since the FCC has not classified ISPs as utilities, they may not regulate them as such.

Last Thursday, the FCC issued a press release stating that it was seeking public comment on a set of proposed rules using the D.C. Circuit's recent Verizon decision as "a legal blueprint." The 5 person commission voted 3-2, not surprisingly along party lines, to consider whether to classify ISPs as a telecommunications service, and thereby preserving net neutrality, or in the alternative, to allow ISPs to charge for faster connections, so long as they provide "a basic level of unfettered Internet service" to all subscribers, reports The New York Times.

Public comment is open until July 15.

Heller Round 2

In 2008, Supreme Court decided District of Columbia v. Heller, and held that a person has a Second Amendment right to possess a handgun for self-defense in his home. As a response, the District of Columbia enacted more gun regulations including banning assault weapons, large-capacity magazines, and a set of registration requirements. A district court upheld the laws, and on appeal, the D.C. Circuit upheld the assault weapon and large-capacity magazine bans, it remanded for more fact finding on the registration regulations.

The parties developed the factual record, and both parties moved for summary judgment, and found that "the government has met that burden and that the regulations pass constitutional scrutiny." Plaintiffs' attorney Stephen P. Halbrook was "disappointed" in the ruling, and is expecting to appeal the district court's decision to the D.C. Circuit, reports NPR.

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