A year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision establishing the constitutional right of Americans to own guns. But the justices did not explain what the practical effect of that ruling would be on city and state gun laws. The question of the constitutionality of existing city and state gun laws was left unanswered, notes the New York Times, and that left a large vacuum for the lower courts to fill.
Supporters of gun rights filed a flurry of lawsuits to strike down local gun restrictions, and now federal appeals courts have begun weighing in on this divisive issue, using very different reasoning. The differing opinions mean that the whole issue of city and state gun laws will probably head back to the Supreme Court for clarification, leading many legal experts to predict a further expansion of gun rights.