This article is about a city of Chicago ordinance that places restrictions on gun ownership. The change in the ordinance came after the Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), which protected an individual's right to own a gun for lawful purposes in federal enclaves but which did...
This article is about a city of Chicago ordinance that places restrictions on gun ownership. The change in the ordinance came after the Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), which protected an individual's right to own a gun for lawful purposes in federal enclaves but which did not address the question of whether this right was incorporated against the states. This issue was later decided in McDonald v. Chicago (2010), in which the Supreme Court ruled that an individual's rights to bear arms is incorporated against the states. The article provides a discussion of these two cases and their implications for gun rights. The McDonald case struck down the earlier law that the new ordinance in Chicago was intended to replace.
The author, McGovern, states that in drawing up a new ordinance, the city of Chicago interpreted the two new Supreme Court decisions too narrowly and limited their considerations to the question of gun ownership in the house. The author writes, "the City of Chicago ignored the broader implications of Heller and McDonald, which extend beyond the right of an individual to use firearms for self-defense" (483). The author believes that this narrow interpretation illegally restricts gun ownership rights in the city of Chicago.
The ordinance, for example, only allows one operable firearm in the house at a time, but the author believes that the "right to bear arms" means the protection of having more than one arm and presents the justification for his argument (including the idea that the Second Amendment was meant to protect the ownership of multiple arms.) The author also believes that the Chicago ordinance interprets the understanding of where people can bear arms too narrowly. The Chicago ordinance restricts this right to the house itself and excludes outer buildings such as garages or outer areas such as yards, where the author believes people have this right. In addition, the author believes that the ordinance wrongly restricts people's right to bear arms outside their homes. The author concludes that this ordinance can be challenged, as can similar ordinances in other cities.