Big-City Gun Restrictions Face Challenges Under High Court Ruling


The individual right to bear arms identified by the Supreme Court will have little practical impact in most of the U.S., says the New York Times. Washington, D.C.'s comprehensive ban on handguns used for self-defense in the home must be revised, and similar laws in several cities are also vulnerable. Most state and city gun restrictions appear to be allowed under the ruling, including licensing laws, limits on the commercial sale of guns, restrictions on guns in places like schools and government buildings, and prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill. “Dangerous and unusual” weapons can also be banned, although that phrase was not defined.

Justice Antonin Scalia suggested that bans on concealed weapons would probably pass Second Amendment muster. The legal battlegrounds will be cities with ordinances similar to Washington's essentially complete ban, notably Chicago. Robert Levy, a lawyer on the winning side of the case, said, “The challenges are likely to be in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Detroit.” Washington, D.C., may offer an amnesty period in which handgun owners can register them without penalty, said Mayor Adrian Fenty.


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