Sometime this month the Supreme Court will issue its eagerly anticipated decision in McDonald v. Chicago, the landmark gun rights case that will settle whether the Second Amendment applies against state and local governments. In preparation, the pro-gun control Chicago Tribune says it's time for the Windy City to start crafting some new regulations in case things go poorly for Chicago's handgun ban:
The court's 2008 decision overturning a Washington, D.C., handgun ban made it clear that the Second Amendment does not preclude less stringent firearms regulation. "Like other rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited," said the court. The justices indicated that laws barring the carrying of concealed guns, excluding felons and the mentally ill from gun ownership, and forbidding unusually destructive weapons are all acceptable.
So the justices also may be willing to permit rules requiring handgun owners to undergo safety training, pass background checks, register their weapons and secure them from children. What the court probably won't tolerate is restrictions whose obvious purpose is to make it so hard for citizens to acquire guns legally that they give up….
Chicago has a duty to respect the Constitution as it is interpreted by the Supreme Court, just as Chicago has the right and responsibility to protect its citizens against the abuse and misuse of guns.
City Hall had better get to work figuring out how to do both.
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