Supreme Court says 2nd Amendment applies nationwide


The Supreme Court ruled for the first time that gun possession is fundamental to American freedom, giving federal judges power to strike down state and local weapons laws for infringing on Second Amendment rights.

The ruling was 5-4 along the court's usual conservative-liberal split. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion.

The court in 2008 voided a District of Columbia handgun ban, and Monday's ruling extended that to the rest of the country. Because Washington is federal territory and not part of a state, the legal basis for imposing federal constitutional limits on gun laws adopted by states had been unclear.

The legal question before the court had much to do with questions of constitutional history. Before the Civil War, courts held that the Bill of Rights applied only to the federal government. After the Union victory, the Reconstruction amendments were adopted to elevate individual rights over state powers and cement the federal role in enforcing them.


There is more.

This decision will have its biggest impact in cities run by liberals who have tried to restrict ownership of guns. Chicago and New York will face the biggest changes. Cities like Houston and Dallas have few restrictions on gun ownership and the state of Texas has a concealed carry law that has seen crime reduced since it was imposed.


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