(CNN) -- A federal judge ruled that Washington's ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional.
In a ruling made public Saturday, Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. said that "there is no longer any basis on which this court can conclude that the District of Columbia's total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns is constitutional under any level of scrutiny.
Scullin made the ruling on Thursday in U.S. District Court, according to the published opinion.
The Washington Post reported that it wasn't clear Saturday night what immediate effect the decision would have.
The defendants cited in the judge's opinion were the District of Columbia and its police chief, Cathy Lanier.
The plaintiffs were four individuals and the Second Amendment Foundation, a group that advocates the right to firearms.?