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One major hurdle is zoning laws. When the District’s handgun ban was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008, zoning laws were enacted that required such businesses to be in commercial districts and 300 feet away from schools, libraries or other landmarks.

Attorney Alan Gura, who represented plaintiff Dick Heller in the case, has already filed a suit against the city, arguing three residents who wished to purchase handguns have been unable to do so since Mr, Sykes lost his lease.