The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a challenge to a District of Columbia ban on handgun ownership, a case that may impact gun ownership rights nationwide. (Read a transcript of oral arguments [PDF file]). The specific question before the Court in Heller v. District of Columbia is whether the Second Amendment forbids the District of Columbia from banning private possession of handguns while allowing possession of rifles and shotguns. The Los Angeles Times reports that the case has drawn national attention "because the Court may decide for the first time whether gun rights are truly protected by the Constitution, like the right to free speech and the right to freely practice one's religion." A Washington Post article finds that there is little in the public record to predict how the nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices will vote on proper interpretation of the Second Amendment. The Court is expected to issue a decision on the case by the end of June.