Monday, June 28, 2010

Landmark Supreme Court 2nd Amendment Ruling Released

Today, the United States Supreme Court released its decision on a landmark Second Amendment case that has been a long time coming.  The Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment's right to bear arms applies to state and local governments.  Two years ago, the Supreme Court had ruled that the Second Amendment applies to federal law.  Today, that principle was extended to the states.  However, it is unclear what the practical effect of this decision will be.  The Supreme Court did not rule upon the constitutionality of any law or ordinance.  Rather, it left the question of what is constitutionally permissible for the lower courts to decide.  The case involved the gun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois.  It is now for the lower courts to reconcile the gun bans with the decision.  A majority of the justices agreed that this decision may lead to extensive and expensive litigation but that this was necessary.  There is little doubt in the opinion that Chicago's gun ban will not stand.   Chicago's gun ban is a blanket ban on any type of gun.  But "reasonable restrictions" will be allowed according to this decision.  What will be considered a "reasonable restriction" is something that will be litigated throughout the courts of this country.  

The practical effect of this ruling is that traditional gun control legislation, like Chicago's blanket ban on handguns, will no longer be the law of the land.  Instead, cities like Chicago, will have to try to come up with legislation that will be more reasonable and ban specific types of guns or require registration or reporting of the ownership of gunsGun control opponents will now file lawsuits challenging all the gun control legislation they can find and force the courts to apply this new constitutional scrutiny to gun control legislation.

The case is McDonald v. Chicago, No. 08-1521.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., visit us at or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.

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