The Supreme Court agreed Wednesday 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 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 Chicago ban has been a part of law since 1982. The law bans all handguns and semi automatic and automatic weapons. As such, in Chicago it's a total ban on firearms. As a matter of policy, this law is indefensible. Violence has not gotten any better since it went into effect. Street crime, gang violence, and gun violence are an everyday part of the inner city of the city of Chicago. The brutal beating death of Derrion Albert is yet another example of this.
As a matter of law, it's murky. On the one hand, the second amendment is pretty clear.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed
That's pretty clear. People have a right to keep and bear arms and this right can't be infringed upon. As such, the city's ordinance is a clear violation of the second amendment. Defenders of the city's ordinance would say that the 2nd amendment applies to the federal government. Municipalities can make their own laws defenders would say. This is just as dubious to me. State's rights come from the tenth amendment.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people
In this case, the right to bear arms is sacrosanct and can't be infringed. That's not me saying it but the Constitution. The ten amendment applies to anything not specified in the Constitution. The right to bear arms is clearly in the Constitution.
Ironically enough, this case will mean that most people will view the Constitution and government power in a way that is opposite of that which they normally would. The same folks that believe that gun bans are Constitutional have no use for federalism. They are the same folks that have no problem with universal health care even though health care is not a power in the Constitution. That, in my view, is an example of the tenth amendment and thus, health care is a state's right. The same people that believe that municipalities have no power to regulate gun control would normally be strong proponents of federalism, or state's and municipality's rights.
This case will likely answer, hopefully once and for all, just how far the second amendment extends. Is the second amendment strictly a federal right, or does it extend to states and municipalities? The nine in robes will soon speak.