Chicago law in court sights

The right to own personal firearms is an individual right, not just something conferred on state militias. The U.S. Supreme Court made that clear in 2008, when it struck down a ban on handguns in Washington, D.C.

But because the nation’s capital is actually a federal enclave, the 2008 case didn’t automatically apply the individual gun right to residents of every state. There is a good chance the Supreme Court will change that when it takes up a Chicago ordinance that bans handgun ownership in that city. The high court announced last week it would hear an appeal on that case.

We believe the court should overturn the Chicago law. Surely, the Second Amendment, in conjunction with the 14th Amendment that makes rights granted under the U.S. Constitution applicable to the states, means that all citizens of this country have the right to own guns to protect themselves and their families.

Still, there are limits on gun ownership, as the court made clear in the 2008 case. And cities such as Chicago, with high gun violence, have an interest trying to control that violence.

The court must find a way to protect Second Amendment rights, while recognizing that communities have legitimate reasons to, restrict guns, such as prohibiting them in public building.

The Supreme Court will have to aim carefully in this case.


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