October 4, 2009

Supreme Court to Hear 2nd Amendment Challenge to Chicago Gun Ban

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court announced September 30 that it will hear the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago, and decide whether the right to keep and bear arms secured by the Second Amendment protects Americans from state and local governments.

At issue is a 27-year-old Chicago law banning handguns, requiring the annual taxation of firearms, and otherwise interfering with the right of law-abiding individuals to keep guns at home for self-defense. The case was brought on behalf of four Chicago residents, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the Illinois State Rifle Association.

Last year, in the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. However, as that case concerned the actions of the District of Columbia government, a federal entity, the high court was not called upon to decide whether the right bound states and local governments. Over the years, almost the entire Bill of Rights has been held to apply to state and local governments by operation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

"The freedoms we enjoy as Americans are secured to us against violation by all levels of government," noted Alan Gura, of Gura & Possessky, PLLC, lead counsel for the McDonald plaintiffs. "State and local politicians should be on notice: the Second Amendment is a normal part of the Bill of Rights, and it is coming to your town."

Otis McDonald, a Chicago resident since 1952 who led the fight to integrate his union local in the 1960s and is a plaintiff in the case, welcomed the news. "I am grateful the Supreme Court has agreed to hear this case," McDonald said. "I now pray that the Court secures me and all other law-abiding citizens the right to defend ourselves and our families."

Chicago attorney David Sigale commented, "The City of Chicago cannot take from millions of Americans the fundamental freedom of self-defense in one's own home. We are confident the Court will stand on the side of the law-abiding citizens and the Bill of Rights."

"We're pleased to hear that the Supreme Court has decided to take a look at Chicago's gun laws," added ISRA President Don Moran. "In this time of economic uncertainty and increasing lawlessness, the good people of Chicago ought not have to choose between violating Chicago's gun ban, and protecting themselves and their loved ones."

Oral argument will possibly be scheduled early this coming winter, with a decision expected by June 2010. Gura will argue the case on behalf of the McDonald plaintiffs.

An Important Note for GunReports.Com Readers:

Our goal on this website is to foster a free expression of views while reining in language that crosses the line of civil discourse. Accordingly, the comments areas are intended to expand the knowledge of all users of this site. But site administrators wish to discourage the use of profanity, insults, disrespect, the advocacy of lawlessness, violence or sedition, or attempts to impinge on the rights of others.

While GunReports.Com encourages robust discourse that furthers our understanding of all the issues affecting gun owners, comments that break GunReports.Com’s rules will be removed. In addition, we reserve the right to edit or delete individual comments, and in extreme cases, to ban commenters at our discretion.

--Tim Cole
Publisher, GunReports.Com

Comments (9)

Canovack, you hit the X ring again. I remember reading back in the '80s that the IRS was complaining that their computers were obsolete, and unable to network with the Social Security Administration's computers, or the Medicare/Medicaid computers, or any other financial systems in the Fed.gov. I thought to myself "This is a bad thing?"

Turns out I was right. Too much government efficiency always means too little liberty.


Posted by: Lee W | October 10, 2009 5:51 PM    Report this comment

Sharps and my dear brothers in the Second Amendment..... I too am impatient with the process that should once and for all resolve the so-called issue of interpretation of the
Second Amendment. Hell.....we should all be impatient with the national government concerning all aspects of our nation's governance. It has, however, become clear to me and many others, that there is a definite process that the governing types have adopted. We have all heard the phrase "nothing is simple". What appears simple and easy to understand for us, just does not appear simple and easy to understand for myriads of other people. So it is, that the "Federalese Game" must apparently be played according to a complex and silly set of rules that requires judicial interpretation. This, in and of itself, may not necessarily be a bad thing, but it sure as hell does get cumbersome and frustrating. As all of this monkey dung gets poked and stirred, perhaps we poor, dumb, ordinary people should keep in mind that inefficiency in our government plays a critical part in maintaining the checks and balances that are key to restricting the tendency for governments to overstep their functions. I seriously doubt that any of us would really like to see our government acquire such a high measure of efficiency that it could do whatever it wants to whenever it wants to. Remember high governmental efficiency was the hallmark of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Fascist Italy, etc, etc.....

Posted by: canovack | October 10, 2009 10:15 AM    Report this comment

I'm sure that what "frosts" us all is the number of times the entire issue is brought before the Supreme Court. I ,for one, thought that the 2nd Amendment had already been interpreted by the high courts.You seem to have a solid grasp of the politics involved. I sincerely wish I had your patience for, and understanding of, the political and legal processes involved in making the 2nd Amendment an IRONCLAD right of the citizens to legally bear arms. Your explanations are sound and your logic impeccable. I lost my grip on "their" logic about 20 years ago. Semper Fi

Posted by: Sharps | October 9, 2009 10:29 PM    Report this comment

As I said in another posting on this same site, today, I view the Chicago thing as having the potential of clarifying our Second Amendment rights as individual keepers and bearers of arms as Americans, no matter what our state of residence might be. It does, however, depend on how the Supreme Court writes the decision. Assuming a 5-4 decision in favor of the Second Amendment, when the opinion (decision) is published, it will need to specify in no uncertain terms that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is and individual right that applies to all Americans regardless of their residential status. The decision should be presented in much the same way that many of our states (Texas included) have adopted pre-emption laws that prohibit any governmental entity from abrogating the rights of its citizens. Even though we lost the Senate vote on CHL reciprocity this time around, with a Supreme Court decision that provides pre-emption of any subordinate governmental entity, reciprocity of CHL should go through with little to no problems.
Now, it would be disingenuous of me to believe that the states and cities would just role over for the Second Amendment. It would, however, create a Second Amendment friendly environment for the pursuit of litigation against those governmental entities that violate national pre-emption.

Posted by: canovack | October 8, 2009 12:39 PM    Report this comment

How about Sen. Soles, Mr. anti gun himself "shooting an intruder with a GUN!!!! That takes hypocrisy to an all time high. Will the liberal Senators ever be held responsible for their actions??.

Posted by: Sharps | October 8, 2009 10:47 AM    Report this comment

Only a hypocrite liberal would discriminate against a gun due to its color.

Posted by: Robert J | October 6, 2009 6:48 AM    Report this comment

Watch what is happening in Washington DC right now. As things stand today, the city is making it as fiendishly difficult as humanly possible to get the permits, acquire the firearm, and get it transferred into the city legally. They borrowed California's "Approved Handguns" list, and if the gun you want isn't the right color, or doesn't have all the right fiddly little breakage-prone gimmicks on it that they demand, you can't have it. There is only one gun dealer in Washington DC, and he doesn't sell guns to the public. He sees his transfers customers by appointment only. The only reason he has a gun license at all is because he's a former cop. They're making New Jersey look like Montana.

I forsee decades of litigation before the city of Chicago is beaten into submission and the city administration is forced to accept the fact that the residents of Chicago are free Americans.


Posted by: Lee W | October 5, 2009 6:38 PM    Report this comment

I predict a 5-4 decision in our favor.

Posted by: Robert J | October 5, 2009 12:44 PM    Report this comment

I sit here wondering why this has taken SOOOOOO long. State's rights and the City of Chicago's rights are two separate battles vs. individual 2nd amendment rights.

Posted by: Sharps | October 4, 2009 9:13 PM    Report this comment

Add your comments ...

New to Gun Tests? Register for Free!

Already Registered? Log In