Supreme Court appears set to widen gun rights

Justices balk at attorney’s approach to overturning precedents

By Matthew Cella
Washington Times

The Supreme Court majority that two years ago ruled a near-total ban on handguns in the District to be unconstitutional seemed equally willing on Tuesday to extend the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms to the states.

But the court appeared skeptical, even hostile at times, to an approach by the lead attorney in the case that would involve overturning long-held court precedents to achieve the result.

The high court heard arguments on behalf of four Chicago residents led by homeowner Otis McDonald, the Second Amendment Foundation and the Illinois State Rifle Association to overturn Chicago’s near-30-year-old handgun ban in a case expected to have far-reaching implications for state and local gun control laws.

James Feldman, who represented the city of Chicago, argued that guns should be treated differently from anything else in the Bill of Rights because guns are “designed to injure and kill.” He said the right to self-defense has been effectively regulated through the political process, especially at the state and local levels.

“It’s a right that gets controlled in accordance with local conditions, with local cultures, and with local views about the necessarily difficult questions about how best to protect public safety,” Mr. Feldman said.

But his argument did not seem to hold sway over justices who, by a 5-4 majority in the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller case, recognized the right for Washington, D.C., residents to register handguns and keep them in their homes.

The article continues at the Washington Times.

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