Federal Court Says States Can Regulate Guns

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JESS BRAVIN
The Wall Street Journal
June 2, 2009

A federal appeals court in Chicago ruled today that the Second Amendment doesn’t bar state or local governments from regulating guns, adopting the same position that Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, did when faced with the same question earlier this year.

[efoods]Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court cited the Second Amendment to strike down a handgun ban adopted in 1976 by the Washington, D.C., City Council. The court, by a 5-4 vote, found that the amendment protected from federal infringement an individual right to “keep and bear arms.”

The decision applied only to the District of Columbia, a federal enclave that is not a state. It left open whether the amendment also limits the powers of state government.

A string of 19th century Supreme Court decisions limited application of the Bill of Rights to state governments. During the 20th century, the Supreme Court held that certain constitutional rights, but not the Second Amendment, could be enforced against the states.

Gun-rights groups challenged ordinances in Chicago and Oak Park, Ill., as unconstitutional in light of the Supreme Court’s decision last year. A federal district judge rejected their arguments, a decision affirmed Tuesday by the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 8:03 pm







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