David G. Savage
The Los Angeles Times
March 3, 2010

scott brown
Plaintiff Otis McDonald participates in a news conference at the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court justices, hearing a 2nd Amendment challenge to Chicago’s ban on handguns, signaled Tuesday that they were ready to extend gun rights nationwide, clearing the way for legal attacks on state and local gun restrictions.

The court’s majority appears almost certain to strike down a Chicago ordinance and rule that residents have a right to a handgun at home. Of U.S. cities, only Chicago and its Oak Park suburb have total bans on handguns. But many cities and states have laws regulating who can have a gun and where they can take it.

Gun rights advocates have said they’ve been waiting for the court’s ruling in this case to begin challenging gun regulations nationwide.

At one point in Tuesday’s argument, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. noted the city’s lawyers doubted that people had a right to carry concealed weapons in public.

“Well, maybe that’s right,” Roberts said. But he quickly added that the question could be left for a future case, indicating that the court was not likely to sweep away additional gun regulations in this ruling.

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