Top US court will decide challenge to DC's handgun ban

The United States' top court said Tuesday it will decide whether the city of Washington can ban handguns, a case that could produce the most in-depth examination of the constitutional right to bear arms in nearly 70 years. The Supreme Court justices' decision to hear the case could make the divisive debate over guns an issue in the 2008 presidential and congressional elections. The government of Washington is asking the court to uphold its 31-year ban on handgun ownership in the face of a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the ban as incompatible with the US constitution. Tuesday's announcement was widely expected, especially after both the city and the man who challenged the handgun ban asked for the high court review.