Supreme Court Seems Poised to Weaken Gun Bans
Scalia, others, suggest they're ready to strike down cities' rules
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 2, 2010 3:48 PM CST
Otis McDonald, left, a foe of city gun bans, accompanied by his attorney Alan Gura, right, and others, leave a news conference in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 2, 2010.   (Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – The Supreme Court suggested today it will strike down US cities' outright bans on handguns, a ruling that could establish a nationwide ownership right fervently sought by gun advocates. But the justices indicated less severe limits could survive, continuing disputes over the "right to keep and bear arms." Chicago-area residents who want handguns for protection in their homes are asking the court to extend its 2008 decision in support of gun rights in Washington, DC, to state and local laws.

Justices heard arguments today and won't issue a ruling for months. But the comments of Justice Scalia suggested it wouldn't be a big surprise if the court—which still has the same five judges who were in the majority for the 2008 decision—further weakened gun laws. Such a ruling would firmly establish a right that has been the subject of politically charged and often fierce debate for decades. But it also would ensure years of legal challenges to sort out exactly which restrictions may stand and which must fall.