Supreme Court voids Chicago handgun ban, expands gun rights nationwide
Group: ‘People will die because of this decision’
Gun owners upset about states “trampling on their rights” have reason to cheer Monday.
“In another dramatic victory for firearm owners, the Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional Chicago, Illinois’ 28-year-old strict ban on handgun ownership, a potentially far-reaching case over the ability of state and local governments to enforce limits on weapons,” CNN reports.
The Associated Press adds, “The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Constitution’s “right to keep and bear arms” applies nationwide as a restraint on the ability of the federal, state and local governments to substantially limit its reach.”
“The justices on Monday cast doubt on a Chicago area handgun ban, but also signaled in their 5-4 decision that less severe restrictions could survive legal challenges,” the AP article continues.
The ruling, written by Justice Samuel Alito, decided that the 2nd Amendment “applies equally to the federal government and the states.”
The AP adds, “The court was split along familiar ideological lines, with five conservative-moderate justices in favor of gun rights and the four liberals, opposed.”
Liberal anti-gun groups are already fuming. Washington, DC’s Violence Policy Center Legislative Director Kristen Rand issued the following statement to RAW STORY:
“People will die because of this decision. It is a victory only for the gun lobby and America’s fading firearms industry. The inevitable tide of frivolous pro-gun litigation destined to follow will force cities, counties, and states to expend scarce resources to defend longstanding, effective public safety laws. The gun lobby and gunmakers are seeking nothing less than the complete dismantling of our nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gun laws in a cynical effort to try and stem the long-term drop in gun ownership and save the dwindling gun industry. The 30,000 lives claimed annually by gun violence and the families destroyed in the wake of mass shootings and murder-suicides mean little to the gun lobby and the firearm manufacturers it protects.
“It is our hope that ChicagoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s citizens will follow the lead of the residents of the District of Columbia–who were stripped of their handgun ban in the wake of the Supreme CourtÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s June 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller. In the two years since that decision, only 900 firearms have been registered in the District that otherwise could not have been registered before the Heller ruling. The citizens of DC reject the wrong-headed notion that more guns make us safer. We know the facts prove the opposite and that areas of the country with the highest concentration of gun ownership also have the highest rates of gun death. We urge Chicago residents to consider these indisputable facts before considering bringing a handgun into their homes–an act that could well prove fatal to themselves or a loved one.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Nevada Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader, issued the following statement supporting the court’s decision:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“With todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has helped ensure that the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans will be protected in all corners of our country. The right to bear arms is one of the essential freedoms on which our country was founded. I am pleased that the high court has taken steps in both the Heller and McDonald cases to guarantee this fundamental right. I supported individual gun rights in a bipartisan congressional amicus brief to the court, and I am glad they agreed with my position.Ã¢â‚¬Â