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US Capital Seeks Stay on Gun Ban

A judge overturned a prohibition on handguns in Washington, D.C., and the city is considering an appeal. Here, shooters practice with pistols at a gun range near Colorado Springs, Colo., July 20, 2014.

The attorney general for Washington, D.C., says the city will seek a stay of a federal judge's ruling overturning the city's ban on carrying a handgun in public. City officials say they are deciding whether to appeal the ruling.

A U.S. federal judge ruled the capital city's ban on carrying handguns is unconstitutional.

Judge Frederick Scullin said in his opinion, made public Saturday, that "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."

The U.S. capital had a law prohibiting anyone from carrying a handgun outside the home.

The Washington Post reported Monday that D.C. police have been told, in an order approved by Police Chief Cathy Lanier, not to arrest people for carrying pistols on the streets of the capital if the weapons are registered.

Proponents of carrying handguns usually base their claims on the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It reads: "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."