Second Amendment Might Be Back on Its Way to Supreme Court


After last week's Seventh Circuit loss for the lawsuit against various Chicago-area gun possession restrictions, Alan Gura, the champion of last year's Heller case which first vindicated the Second Amendment at the Supreme Court, might be headed back to the site of his victory to try to settle the question of whether the Second Amendment right restricts state and local actions as well as federal ones.

ScotusBlog sums up:

Alan Gura…started a new challenge in the Supreme Court Tuesday.  It seeks to have the Second Amendment right enforced against state, county and city gun control laws. The petition in McDonald, et al., v. City of Chicago, can be downloaded here…..

The McDonald petition involves four Chicago residents, the Second Amendment Foundation and the Illinois State Rifle Association, all challenging a handgun ban in Chicago.  Their petition said the ban is identical to one struck down by the Supreme Court in its Second Amendment ruling last June in District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290).

The Heller decision, however, applied only to laws enacted by Congress or for the federal capital in Washington.  The Court expressly left open the question of whether individuals would have the same right against state and local government gun restrictions.

Arguing that the Second Amendment right is a "fundamental" one, the new petition said that means that the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees that such rights "may not be violated by any form of government throughout the United States.  Accordingly, Chicago's handgun ban must meet the same fate as that which befell the District of Columbia's former law….

The split of authority in lower courts "warrants speedy resolution, as it perpetuates the deprivation of fundamental rights among a large portion of the population," [Gura's petition] said. It would serve no purpose to let this conflict go on, the petition contended.

The petition can be read in full here. I wrote last month here at Reason Online about the legal history that led up to the circuit split on Second Amendment incorporation through the 14th Amendment.

My latest book, Gun Control on Trial, tells the full story of Gura's Heller victory.