Supreme Court Extends Gun Rights To States And Cities

06.29.10 |

A landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision has ruled that protections associated with the constitutional right to bear arms apply to state and federal laws. In a 5-4 ruling, the court reversed a lower court ruling on a strict handgun ban in Chicago. The effect of the decision will be to send the Chicago ban back to a lower court for review to determine if it passes constitutional muster. A Chicago city council member said discussion could begin this week about a new gun law that will take the Second Amendment's right to bear arms into account.

 The Supreme Court ruling was split along the court's liberal and conservative lines. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito said, quote, "we hold that the Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the states." Outgoing Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the minority opinion. He said the issue before the court had already been decided in 19th century cases and that the arguments against Chicago's ban on handguns weren't strong enough to defeat precedent.