www.scotusblog.com/wp/ Court agrees to rule on gun case Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 1:02 pm Lyle Denniston After a hiatus of 68 years, the Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to rule on the meaning of the Second Amendment — the hotly contested part of the Constitution that guarantees “a right to keep and bear arms.” Not since 1939 has the Court heard a case directly testing the Amendment’s scope — and there is a debate about whether it actually decided anything in that earlier ruling. In a sense, the Court may well be writing on a clean slate if it, in the end, decides the ultimate question: does the Second Amendment guarantee an individual right to have a gun for private use, or does it only guarantee a collective right to have guns in an organized military force such as a state National Guard unit? The city of Washington’s appeal (District of Columbia v. Heller, 07-290) is expected to be heard in March — slightly more than a year after the D.C. Circuit Court ruled that the right is a personal one, at least to have a gun for self-defense in one’s own home. The Justices chose to write out for themselves the question(s) they will undertake to answer. Both sides had urged the Court to hear the city’s case, but they had disagreed over how to frame the Second Amendment issue.