U.S. Supreme Court takes up local handgun control

This just moved across the Associated Press wire:

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether strict local and state gun control laws violate the Second Amendment, ensuring another high-profile battle over the rights of gun owners.

The court said Wednesday it will review a lower court ruling that upheld a handgun ban in Chicago. Gun rights supporters challenged gun laws in Chicago and some suburbs immediately following the high court’s decision in June 2008 that struck down a handgun ban in the District of Columbia, a federal enclave.

The new case tests whether last year’s ruling applies as well to local and state laws.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld ordinances barring the ownership of handguns in most cases in Chicago and suburban Oak Park, Ill.

Judge Frank Easterbrook, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan, said that “the Constitution establishes a federal republic where local differences are to be cherished as elements of liberty rather than extirpated in order to produce a single, nationally applicable rule.”

“Federalism is an older and more deeply rooted tradition than is a right to carry any particular kind of weapon,” Easterbrook wrote.

Evaluating arguments over the extension of the Second Amendment is a job “for the justices rather than a court of appeals,” he said.

The high court took his suggestion Wednesday.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, then an appeals court judge, was part of a three-judge panel in New York that reached a similar conclusion in January.

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31 comments Add your comment


September 30th, 2009
11:11 am

Hypocrisy and Republican should always be in the same sentence.


September 30th, 2009
11:23 am

Enter your comments here

There should be more respect for states’ rights and federalism. Why are the citizens of some states so anxious to hand authority for regulating heath care over to the feds? Local control is an American value.


Noble Freden

September 30th, 2009
11:25 am

Enter your comments here: I do . not expect that any meaningful control of guns in the USA will be enforced even though Amercians guns are being used by criminals in murder in Mexico. Of course, many deaths occur every year in the USA due to the easy availability of guns in most if not all American cities.


September 30th, 2009
11:29 am

Ohhh, so it is hypocritical for the right to advocate for a strong interpretation of the Second Amendment…well, in that case, perhaps localities and states should be given deference in their interpretations of the First Amendment? So if Chicago wants to basically eliminate the constitutionally granted 1A rights, that’d be alright? Talk about hypocritical.


September 30th, 2009
11:31 am

Liberals can not force socialism on the Republic if it is armed. The liberals will continue to attack the second ammendment until the supreme court rules for the right to bear arms. It must rule in a simple language that a third grader can understand or this will continue until we fly the socialists flags. It so disturbing that people who claim they want people to have freedom but put THEIR limits on what is freedom. The so called educaters(liberals) can not read the constitution and see it for what it is and will always be. The liberals see it as an open book that needs editing. They can not run a newspaper for profit and now they want to rewrite the constitution. FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS!


September 30th, 2009
11:44 am

Governments of local, state or federal persuasion need to leave the right to bear arms alone. It is simply stated in the Constitution. I don’t own a gun at this time, however, if I feel I need to buy one to protect my family, then I shall. I would rather do it legally than to have to rely on a black market. Those people along with the convicted felons have that right taken away from them. The problem is, there is no way to continuously enforce those laws that are designed to protect the law abiding citizen from a criminal element. I pray that the Supreme Court will take careful consideration in their ruling and remember that they are charged first and foremost by the Consitution, and not some convoluted interpretation of said document.


September 30th, 2009
11:47 am

Noble – check your facts. The USA has a LOWER crime rate than Britain and Australia for the simple reason that Americans may legally own guns and use them in self-defense. The guns you refer to being used in Mexico and elsewhere by criminals ar ILLEGALLY obtained guns, many of which are guns that Americans can NOT own legally anyway. They have either been obtained on the black market or stolen from the rightful owners.


September 30th, 2009
11:48 am

The question that should be looked at is wether or not states can establish laws that go against the constitution. If the 2nd gives one the right to bear arms, can a state take that right away or impede it to irrelevancy like DC had tried to do. If Chicago can say no to guns, what will prevent other districts from disregarding other amendments? The Bill of Rights was ratified by the states. It is what it is. Unfortunately, Judge Frank Easterbrook seems to miss one point. Yes, states rights need more attention. That is why it states in the Constitution that any and all rights not listed in the Constitution and given to the Fed are reserved for the states. But when the Supreme Court decides that they by immiment domain can STEAL a private citizen’s home so that a city can build condos, hotel, casino’s, etc…, not public buildings such as schools, highway, library, etc…, I lose faith in this judiciary. The Constitution should be treated with more respect. States rights should be treated with more respect (not to be forced to change laws or lose funding). Individual rights should be treated with more respect. And on a side note, does not anyone see that the more restrictive the gun laws, the more crime committed with guns?

Sunshine and Thunder

September 30th, 2009
11:49 am


September 30th, 2009
11:51 am

2nd amendment is clear people. Right to bear arms…We have the right to own, carry,and use a gun in the United States. My administration agrees with your right to own a gun….I mean you must be able to shoot the welfare kings and queens when they invade and attempt to steal your private property.

Liberal Democrat

September 30th, 2009
11:56 am

WILLIAM, you dolt! Do you really think WE are not armed now, too? You rightie jerks out there screeching with teabags on your heads, advocating revolution, secession, and all manner of violence, whining and playing the victim card, blaming all your problems on those of us who voted for the black guy? Yeah, I saw the light. I AM ARMED TO PROTECT MYSELF FROM YOUR KIND. Trust.


September 30th, 2009
11:59 am

Reading Liberal Democrats response……..Oh the humanity….Could 2012 hurry and get here….so we can get the Dems out and hopefully rescue America….


September 30th, 2009
12:01 pm

WILLIAM – you the man!
Liberal democrat – you are the problem.
barak – you are mostly correct.

Liberal Democrat

September 30th, 2009
12:02 pm

Barak, so you think you have the right but I don’t? That’s not how it works here in America buddy boy. I can protest, so can you. You can pack a piece, so can I. Deal.


September 30th, 2009
12:05 pm

The same people who oppose rights under the Second Amendment are perhaps the same wackos who think Roman Polanski should not be forced to return to the United States to face judgment for his crimes. Ridicious that the right to own a gun is even being debated.


September 30th, 2009
12:11 pm

Gun control is not about guns, its about control. The reason that places like Chicago and DC have the worst crime rates/murder rates in the country is because they HAVE banned guns. Criminals do not follow the law, therefore bans just take weapons out of law-abiding citizens hands and lets criminals know where the easy pickings are. People are so IGNORANT in this country when it comes to guns. They are actually quite safe when handled responsibly. Gun bans don’t work and recent history in Great Britian for another example proves it.

The Supreme Court ruled in the summer of ‘08 that the 2nd amendment protects an individual right. It is that clear. As we all know, or maybe not, any right ALLOWED to the the people by the CONSTITUTUION (not given to by politicians) trumps and state/local statute. This is a no-brainer for the folks courts…


September 30th, 2009
12:20 pm

Liberal Democrat – Deal…. :) But come on now…you secretly know we have to get someone with some sense in the White House in 2012? I mean Obama can have his fun trashing America for four years but after that we have to get the country back in order…


September 30th, 2009
12:28 pm

Why can’t they just leave the sad little insecure republicans alone to play with their guns?

Those who were born without need fun too.


September 30th, 2009
12:29 pm

WOW – news flash…This is simply amazing…California has finally figured out that you cannot continue to tax the acheivers to pay for the parasites of society. Why? Because if you continue to raise taxes on the earners of society, they will leave and you find yourself with no tax base to draw money from. If you cut taxes and cut corporate taxes people and businesses flock to your state and tax revenue goes up. Wow…California got it….and to think that dragqueen Pelosi comes from Ca…..Go figure…..


September 30th, 2009
12:30 pm

If the honest citizens of Mexico had 2nd amendment unalienable right they would not have the lawlessness problem they are experiencing.
“When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns”. Chicago is a perfect example of what happens to the crime rate when honest citizens are denied their unalienable Constitutional rights!

brain franklin

September 30th, 2009
12:32 pm

Enter your comments here Democrats and dictatorship/communists should mean the same thing.


September 30th, 2009
12:42 pm

Enter your comments here Why is it that everyone thinks that it is the other guys fault/problem? The supremes have been creatively interpreting the constitution since they were formed, which in part is why everyone can point to the constitution and observe that it is a document that has stood the test of time. I am a liberal, which does not mean democrat, who is a proud member of the NRA and the ACLU because nobody has all the correct answers! Except me of course.

EJ Moosa

September 30th, 2009
12:44 pm

If the Second Amendment does not apply to States, they why would the Amendments banning slavery, giving women the right to vote, and the 16th amendment allowing the collection of Federal Income taxes apply?

Liberals try to cherry pick the rights we have. It’s why the founding fathers saw it necessary to spell out rights that were inalienable.

Liberal Democrat

September 30th, 2009
12:59 pm

EJ, good point except for the part about cherry picking. Saying only liberals cherry pick is like saying only teenager boys m@stur-bate.

Obama Spends More Time Talking To Oprah Than Gen McChrystol

September 30th, 2009
1:17 pm

Judge Frank Easterbrook’s ruling was a cop-out. Sort of like Obama saying “that’s above my pay grade” when asked when life begins. With Justice Sonia Sotomayor reaching the same conclusion, we can expect more “judicial activism” and “creative interpretation” from our courts. Our court system doesn’t need to slap the Constitution in the face; it needs to support it. The 2A is alive and well and the liberals will just have to get over not being able to control everything that Americans do.

Like a vision she dances across the floor, as the radio plays

September 30th, 2009
1:48 pm

Just for fun… many gun related injuries and deaths, are actually positive events. Cops shooting bad guys, home and business owners ditto, and-guessing here- lots of gang bangers shooting each other.

Sadly, most gang members are to stupid to shoot well, and often manage to hit small children by mistake.

It seems we need more gun training for inner city thugs. As it can be expensive, perhaps a public option to compete with private training centers, as a way to control costs.


September 30th, 2009
1:54 pm

“Gun control is not about guns, its about control. The reason that places like Chicago and DC have the worst crime rates/murder rates in the country is because they HAVE banned guns.”

Have you seen Forbes list of the 15 most dangerous cities in the US? Chicago, New York, Washington and Los Angeles don’t even make the list. Ten of the 15 are in the South with the lax gun laws you love. Two are in Tennessee where they just made it legal to take guns into bars. Three are in Florida where anything with a pulse can get a handgun license.


September 30th, 2009
3:38 pm

Republicans and republican party today operate like the nazi party in Hitler’s Germany. They propagate lies using racial, ideological, name calling, family values etc to usurp the power of the present government. How can you explain majority of southern rural whites, most of whom are on some form welfare, to be opposed to publicly funded health care. The statement is often made dont spend my tax dollar on this or that, well show me where you pay taxes in the first place. the reality is most southern state, may with excption of Florida and Texas, receive more in Federal largess than the supposed taxes they pay in

Obama Spends More Time Talking To Oprah Than Gen McChrystol

September 30th, 2009
4:00 pm

Justin says “Republicans and republican party today operate like the nazi party in Hitler’s Germany.” I say “mmmm….mmmm….mmmm!”


September 30th, 2009
4:25 pm

Hey you Right-Wingnuts, if you are gonna quote the Second Amendment, at least quote the whole thing and quit cherry-picking the parts you like. You criticize the left for cherry-picking, but when part of the constitution is inconvenient for you, just ignore it!

It won’t matter anyway. Scalia, Roberts et al will strike any ban on on guns crafted by states or local govts. After all the ’states rights’ argument only applies to “states rights’ that conservatives approve of.


October 2nd, 2009
9:19 pm