Gun Rights Must Be Honored by States, Cities, High Court Rules in 5-4 Vote

By Greg Stohr

A divided U.S. Supreme Court extended the reach of the constitutional right to bear arms by saying it binds state and local governments as well as federal officials.

The justices, voting 5-4 in a case involving Chicago’s handgun ban, said an individual right to bear arms was among the fundamental guarantees protected against state interference through a constitutional amendment after the Civil War.

“A provision in the Bill of Rights that protects a right that is fundamental from an American perspective applies equally to the federal government and the states,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court.

The ruling broadens the sweep of the court’s 2008 ruling interpreting the Constitution’s Second Amendment as protecting the rights of individuals, rather than just those of state-run militias. It’s a victory for the National Rifle Association, which joined a group of Chicago residents in challenging the city’s laws.

It will open a new front in the fight over gun rights, setting the stage for courtroom battles over the constitutionality of weapons restrictions around the country.

The high court’s 2008 decision said the right to bear arms “is not unlimited.” The majority said the ruling didn’t cast doubt on laws barring handgun possession by convicted felons and the mentally ill or restrictions on bringing guns into schools or government buildings.

Second Amendment

Like the rest of the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment was originally aimed only at the federal government. The Supreme Court in the 19th century refused to apply the Second Amendment to the states.

More recently, the court has said that some, though not all, of the rights in the first eight amendments are so fundamental that they are “incorporated” into the 14th Amendment’s due process clause, which binds the states.

Chicago has been the only major U.S. city with a blanket prohibition on handguns. The ban was challenged by four Chicago residents, including Otis McDonald, a 76-year-old homeowner in the Morgan Park neighborhood on the city’s South Side.

McDonald, who says his home has been broken into at least three times, says he wants to keep a handgun by his bed for protection.

The Supreme Court’s 2008 decision invalidated the handgun ban in the District of Columbia, a federal enclave.

The case is McDonald v. City of Chicago, 08-1521.

Author: AKA John Galt

A small business owner, a tea party organizer, a son, father and husband who is not willing to sell out the future lives of his children.

One thought on “Gun Rights Must Be Honored by States, Cities, High Court Rules in 5-4 Vote”

  1. As a Colonel Potter would have said “horse hockey.” The state are well aware the Ali Bama administration is all talk and NO action. They won’t do what is best for the gulf coast states, refusing skimmers because they “may be needed elsewhere.” They won’t enforce federal immigration laws and there is absolutely no reason to expect they would enforce this.

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