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A federal judge on Friday upheld limitations on gun ownership that the District of Columbia put in place following a 2008 Supreme Court decision overturning the city's outright ban on handguns.

Dick Heller, the plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case, had challenged the new regulations, claiming the registration procedures, a ban on most semiautomatic weapons and other limitations violated the intent of the high court's decision.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina sided with the city, saying the Supreme Court decision did not ban reasonable limits on gun ownership designed to promote public safety.

"While the (Supreme) Court recognized that the Second Amendment protects a natural right of an individual to keep and bear arms in the home in defense of self, family and property, it cautioned that that right is not unlimited," he wrote.

The decision by Urbina, who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton, moves the case along what is likely to be a lengthy path through the legal system.

"We fully expect to go the Court of Appeals," said Heller's lawyer Richard E. Gardiner.


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