Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Jacob Sullum on Chicago Gun Case

Excerpted from an article at

"Yesterday the Supreme Court considered the question of whether the Second Amendment applies outside of jurisdictions controlled by the federal government. The Court will almost certainly say yes, and soon it may consider a question that should be equally easy to answer: whether the Second Amendment applies outside of the home.

"In 2008, the first time the Supreme Court explicitly declared that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to 'keep and bear arms,' it ruled that the District of Columbia’s handgun ban violated that right. Since the Chicago handgun ban at issue in the case the Court heard this week is virtually identical, it will be overturned if the Court concludes that the Second Amendment binds states and cities as well as the federal government. And since the Court has ruled that almost all of the other guarantees in the Bill of Rights apply to the states by way of the 14th Amendment, it would be very strange if the fundamental right to armed self-defense did not make the cut. [...]

"[O]fficials predictably warn that chaos would ensue from allowing law-abiding people to carry guns in public. But that has not happened in any of the states with nondiscretionary carry permit policies.

"Although the crime-reducing benefits of such policies remain controversial, the blood-soaked visions of doomsayers who imagined routine arguments regularly culminating in gunfire have not transpired in the two decades since Florida started the trend toward liberalization. In fact, data from Florida, Texas, and Arkansas indicate that permit holders are far less likely to commit gun crimes (or other offenses) than the general population."

Read the entire article here.

Also, for up-to-the-minute information on this important court case check

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