Chicago – The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether
or not the Second Amendment applies directly to states, an issue
that could have a huge impact on gun ownership in Illinois.
The Illinois State Rifle Association and the Second Amendment
Foundation filed a lawsuit against the City of Chicago claiming the
city enforces a handgun ban identical to the one struck down by the
Supreme Court in the case District of Columbia v. Heller and that
the ban violates residents’ Second Amendment rights.
This current case, McDonald v. Chicago, challenges a 7th Circuit
court ruling that said “the Second Amendment applies only to
federal regulation of an individual’s right to guns and not in
cases of restrictions by states and municipalities like
Chicago officials told the Supreme Court the city’s 1982 handgun
ban was put in place to address an increase in gun-related deaths.
The nation’s highest court will review whether or not the ban on
firearms is constitutional.
ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson said his organization
has a good chance at reversing the ban.
“All the ban does is prevent law-abiding citizens from
protecting themselves,” Pearson told WGN TV in Chicago. “It has no
affect on the criminals at all.”
The ISRA admitted that the road ahead in the case “will be long
and tedious.” The group expects that by late November briefs from
its side will be submitted to the court.
The City of Chicago will then be given time to offer its reply,
and then the ISRA will be given the opportunity to rebut Chicago’s
reply. Oral arguments in the case are expected to commence in
January 2010 and a decision in the case is expected in June of
Todd Gaziano, director of the center for legal and judicial
studies at the Heritage Foundation, is predicting a major blow to
gun control advocates and a big win for states.
He predicts liberals will make the case that the Second
Amendment, like abortion, should be legislated on the federal
“Ever since the 14th Amendment passed, the framers talked about
how it would apply to the states. The framers were a little unclear
how the 14th Amendment should be interpreted. In the late 19th
century, the Supreme Court limited privileges but in the 1930s they
said it applied to the states. Ever since the 1930s, they (the
Supreme Court) have largely ignored the immunities and privileges
clause,” Gaziano said.
He cited the Eighth Amend-ment as another example of how the
nation’s highest court reversed its opinion, eventually allocating
power to individual states. According to Gaziano, if the question
is whether or not gun ownership applies to all Americans in every
state, the court will side with the Second Amendment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.