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Obama clarifies position on D.C. gun ban

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama claps during services at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago on June 15, 2008. Obama discussed the importance of fatherhood in his address to the church. (UPI Photo/Brian Kersey)
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama claps during services at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago on June 15, 2008. Obama discussed the importance of fatherhood in his address to the church. (UPI Photo/Brian Kersey) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) -- Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama Thursday sought to clarify his position on a Supreme Court ruling striking down a Washington gun ban.

The high court struck down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handgun possession, ruling that Americans have a constitutional right to keep guns in their homes for self-defense.

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When asked about his reaction, Obama disputed the one outlined earlier by his campaign, ABC News reported.

When a reporter noted in November that the District's handgun law was constitutional, Obama distanced himself from the campaign, the network reported.

"I don't know what my aide said but I've been very consistent, I teach constitutional law," Obama said. "What I said was that I believe Second Amendment as being an individual right and have said that consistently. I also think that individual right is constrained by the rights of the community to maintain issues with public safety. I don't think those two principles are contradictory and in fact what I've been saying consistently is what the Supreme Court essentially said today."

Obama, the junior senator from Illinois, said although the District's gun ban was overturned, the court did affirm the right of local communities to engage in background checks and other "common sense laws."

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