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. Smith.J

    Yes. Someone could use this opportunity to aim his/her gun at the justices. That would be best outcome!

    June 28, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Sweet Victory

      is this a threat being made to the Justices of the United States Supreme Court????

      June 28, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      I hope the FBI is monitoring this.. Threats and encouraging violent acts against members of the SCOTUS is felony.

      June 28, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. Vickie

    I am a firearms owner, so... good for the RESPONSIBLE OWNERS...but this is kind of scary.. I guess purely for the reason of the city having over 100+ shootings in the past 4 weekend days. I can't imagine how high those numbers are going to be now..

    June 28, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob H.

      I guess you go around shooting people right?

      June 28, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Vickie

      nope.. but in all actuality, I guess with laws in place or with the 28 year ban now overturned, people will always be able to buy guns illegally, so does it really matter at this point..???? It would be naive to think that people are going to be responsible even with the new "restrictions" that they are going to place.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      Cites with Democrat rule for the last 40 years are set up to be violent,the libs support a gun ban because they know that those carrying out their wishes will get the guns illegally or find other ways of murdering people.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  3. nc citizen

    here is a post i made to the raleigh news & observer about carrying a handgun.......

    i carry a firearm.

    reason.....our world over time has become more populated with mean, evil people. i have a right to defend myself.

    chapel hill.....2010. female jogger accosted by a male. thankfully two young men came to her aid and ran the assailant off.

    chapel hill.....1993. female jogger attacked by a male. she attempts to drive him off with mace/pepper spray. he pulls a gun and kills her.

    i dont know whether i will ever be in a situation like these, but i am prepared. i WILL NOT become a statistic.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. ChicagoanMike

    Finally, I can defend myself legally in war-torn Chicago. There is justice!

    June 28, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. Alex

    More guns on US streets = more murders = less americans = better World for the rest of us

    June 28, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tes

    I spent most of my life in favor of strong regulations on firearms. I consider myself liberal. While I can appreciate the wonderful positives of living is a gun free country, the implications come at too high a price. Put your political affiliation aside for a a moment and just really consider how messed up it is to have government limit a civilian's right to own handguns. Penalize the hell out of criminal behavior associated with guns as a deterrent; don't just ban handguns.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. thorrsman

    The meaning of the Second Amendment has always be very clear. It is, I think, most clear to those who argue so strongly against it, for they fully understand the implications of it for their schemes for the future of this country.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. Uzi Wesson

    With no gun laws and open carry, it won't be long before we look like the middle east. Everyone will have a machine gun and RPG on their shoulder as they go about their normal work day. They'll want to make sure all around them know that they are to be diss'd or they'll blow your brains out. What a wonderful world it will be......NOT!!!

    Of course, the criminal who doesn't have a gun just needs to stand in line behind the guy with one and take it from him, then rob the store they're in. And I can't wait to see the shootouts which will occur at banks and courthouses in the future.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • ems870

      your post is a joke right?

      June 28, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. steven

    haha if oyur so scared by a dog lol........ok so homeboy willy can shoot my dog hahaha no thanks keep your change obama i take a gun anyday.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dave

    How many more dead children do we need before this nation wakes up and realizes that being awash in guns isn't "freedom," it's mass slaughter?

    June 28, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Sweet Victory

      3. i think just 3 will do it.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • steve

      go ahead and outlaw guns for everyone...please do it now. Do you really think thats going to stop gangs and criminals from having them?? Gang violence can kill anyone not just children.

      My children are educated about firearms and know that they are not toys. That and if someone breaks into my house sure i'll call 911 but only after I have my gun in hand. The intruder comes near my childrens bedroom....lets just say I wont miss

      June 28, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  11. Patrick

    I don't own a gun, but my commute into the city to my job makes me think twice about that. If gun control worked, wouldn't Chicago have a low rate of shootings, considering our tough gun laws? Well that's not the case folks...not at all.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • TwM

      They will always have access to Guns, via black market. If they want one, no law whatsoever will stop them.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. Alski

    It's about time. Someone has finally realized that Chicago politicians has been talking out of both sides of their mouths.
    For years they've banned the sale of legal handguns to law abiding citizens yet paying the gang bangers for turning in their handguns??? Their annual drive to allow anyone to turn in a handgun either registered or not no questions asked. Paying them with debit cards to the tune of $200 which I'm sure they traded for better handguns. I've been told that most of the guns turned in were old. Mostly broken and rusted.

    June 28, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lori

    Had to post this link for some person above who went on about how "safe" London, England, is.

    Sorry baby, Britain is the most violent country in Europe, and more violent than USA. Instead of guns to kill each other, they use knives, bats, and fists. Far more robbery, home invasion, and mugging than in the USA.


    June 28, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • TwM

      Many of the Liberal European Countries rank way higher then the USA in Violent Crimes.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jon

    For those who say there is not God ... wait until you have a criminal with an Illegally obtained gun pointing it at your face... then all your beliefs will be put to the test. Are you willing to risk being wrong? ... In my case I WILL be defending my self, family or friends with my LEGALLY owned gun. Criminals Beware !!

    June 28, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. ScottLPR

    Just what Chicago needs. America the land of stupid people who think owning guns is going to take care of everything.... Only in America are you more at risk of being shot in a school, mall, or public place than dying in a plane crash.... Ignorance is bliss I guess...

    June 28, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeyD74

      sorry but i refuse to let winsoton and jarvis rob me, carjack me, or break into my house. all theyll get now is a free dirtnap.

      June 28, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Bantry Ben

      Hoplophobia from the Greek hoplon, or weapon, is defined as the "fear of firearms" and as the "fear of armed citizens." The word was first coined by Colonel Jeff Cooper in 1962. Bloomberg (and ScottLPR) are hoplophobics. Dangerous hoplophobics.

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