June 28th, 2010
10:06 AM ET

Court rules for gun rights, strikes Chicago handgun ban

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.

A 5-4 conservative majority of justices on Monday reiterated its two-year-old conclusion the Constitution gives individuals equal or greater power than states on the issue of possession of certain firearms for self-protection.

"It cannot be doubted that the right to bear arms was regarded as a substantive guarantee, not a prohibition that could be ignored so long as states legislated in an evenhanded manner," wrote Justice Samuel Alito.

The court grounded that right in the due process section of the 14th Amendment. The justices, however, said local jurisdictions still retain the flexibility to preserve some "reasonable" gun-control measures currently in place nationwide.

In dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer predicated far-reaching implications. "Incorporating the right," he wrote, "may change the law in many of the 50 states. Read in the majority's favor, the historical evidence" for the decision "is at most ambiguous."

He was supported by Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.

soundoff (630 Responses)
  1. steven

    DONT DO THE CRIME IF U DONT WANT A BULLIT. PERIOD

    June 28, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. IMatt

    Guns don't kill people, people kill people.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. rick

    I have a question, Do you have to lower your IQ to join the Republican party. Bush, Palin, Ragen (bad actor).....

    June 28, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      Ragen? Nice.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. ed

    I wonder how many gun owners served this nation in the Armed Forces, most likly the same number of pro war conservitives..

    June 28, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. Evan

    I completely agree with Jon. I live around Chicago and it amazes me that more people are being killed in Chicago than in the Iraq War. 28 years of this gun ban and now people are suggested bringing in the National Guard here in Chicago just to contain the violence. By allowing more private citizen, like Otis McDonald, to legally own and use guns.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. scotts66charger

    Clearly ' MOE' is an Idiot..

    June 28, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. tmichael

    Remember the BLOOD BATH

    June 28, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. gary

    Actually, the crime rates in Washington and New York City are the lowest they've been in over 60 years. Where the crime has gone up is in smaller towns and cities without gun restrictions. Check your facts.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. matt

    if we lift the prohibition on guns, why not lift the prohibition on POT and DRUGS. Alcohol and Tobacco kill more people anyway and they are already legal

    June 28, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • tmichael

      Matt, don't assume that gunowners will oppose legalizing pot. Sure, I say 'ban cigarettes' or 'legalize pot.' And I don't smoke anything. I'm just annoyed by hipocracy!

      June 28, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Matt

    I own a handgun and have shot......0 people. Take a minute and let that soak in. Just a warning, it might make some of the liberal's heads explode.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. MrsNLB

    For those of you who believe that a ban on guns is going to keep the bad guys from getting them, you are truly delusional. The only thing a ban does is keep us from defending ourselves. I have a concealed carry permit and while I don't carry my gun on a regular basis, I do when traveling by car by myself.

    "It's a sad day to be an American. The "right to bear arms" is outdated and not needed. We don't live in the same kind of environment that those who wrote the laws lived in back in the day. We don't need guns.

    If you're so scared of where you live, get yourself a dog." What Logic!!! I'm sure the dog will have much better defenses against an armed intruder.

    I hope I NEVER have to use my gun to protect my life...but rest assured should I need to I will.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Rt

    Obviously guns don't deter criminals. That's why cops don't carry them.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  13. ed

    Hoplophobia is for losers

    June 28, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  14. tmichael

    remember the BLOOD BATH AND SHOOTOUT the media gleefully predicted when concealed carry permits became legal in Florida a few years ago? Didn't happen! Funny, the lack of violence didn't get reported. Now watch the media haul out the same story and change the name to Chicago.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  15. junkers

    Guns guns guns. More guns guns guns guns. Forget legalizing gun carrying, lets legalize shooting people. Then I can shoot all you jerks in the face, and then I can go down to the south side and do a little gang banger hunting.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
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