Will next week's SCOTUS hearing turn the 2nd Amendment into a 2nd Class Constitutional Right?

You see, Chicago does not allow the possession of handguns by private citizens in their own homes. They passed that law in 1982. Mr. Otis McDonald lives in a very bad neighborhood, and wants a gun for self-protection... he is suing the city for violation of his Second Amendment rights. Both the lower court and the appeals court ruled against him, and SCOTUS has agreed to hear the case.


Whether or not states must honor that right becomes a very important issue. After all, what good is a "constitutional right" that any state can ignore and pass a law against?

If they rule against McDonald, it means that the Second Amendment is a 2nd-class Constitutional right. Such a ruling would mean the Second Amendment is a right in name only, because in reality any state could pass a law disarming every citizen. Am I wrong?

22 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I beleive there are enough strict constructionist to overturn Illinois legislature. Funny it's Obama's state, isn't it

    Westhill! Read the Constitution. This is not a state right.

    Amendment 10 - The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    Gun ownership is stated in the Constitution. The states have nothing to do with it

    • Login to reply the answers
  • GunnyC
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I do not think that they will rule with the city of Chicago/Cook County. I think they would have a very difficult time saying some Constitutional rights apply to state laws as well as federal but not others. Listening to some of the answers from those thinking it should be upheld is rather funny since if the Bill of Rights only applied to Federal Law then what would stop a state from establishing a state/city/county religion or restricting freedom of speech? Historically the last state to sign the Bill of Rights was Massachusetts's and there objection was to that specific right-in short they wanted the freedom to establish a state religion without federal law prohibiting that. The Rights within the Bill of Rights apply to all law making bodies in this country and all rights for the citizens of the country not just restrictions on the federal government. If the 14th Amendment does not answer that for all rights but just to those rights the court and legislature says it does who is to say that a future court/legislature will redefine which it applies too? Freedom of speech or religion could be the next or a complete reversal of the 14th as it has to be applied equally to all rights or none at all. Ruling it only applies to those rights which the court or legislative bodies says it applies too would be a very dangerous and convoluted ruling.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    I hope we don't run into the same problem as with Morton Grove IL decades ago. Some idiot lawyer claimed his rights were violated by anti-gun laws and sued. The Supreme Court ruled that his rights had not been violated. Problem was, he had never attempted to exercise the right. He just brought a lawsuit. Nobody ever violated his rights because he did not stand on the police station steps wearing his pistol, gotten arrested and convicted. He just sued.

    Let's read the case....

    Yea, it is as I feared. They did not get busted for claiming and exercising the right. If they had, they would be defending a criminal case, which gives them 3-1 odds of Victory. As it is, they are Plaintiffs in a civil suit which puts the odds against them 1-3. bummer.

    SCOTUS never answers a question they don't have to answer. They may deal with this case without actually answering the question. But they agreed to hear it so I assume they will address the real issue. They did well in Heller (Washington DC) and I assume they will do well here also.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If you were a Conservative, you would see the US Constitution as a set of rights that the US federal government may not infringe. The Constitution is designed to keep the US government from taking away people's rights.

    The state governments, on the other hand, are restrained only by their state constitutions and certain federal laws. If the people of Illinois didn't include gun rights in their constitution, that's none of the US Supreme court's business.

    Moreover, the second amendment says that the people have a right to keep arms as part of well - regulated militias, where they would report to a captain and train in order to defend your states. There's no reason to think that means you can carry a pistol in your pocket. you might only be allowed to keep a rifle or shotgun in your house.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    The Right to Keep and Bear Arms has already been determined to be an individual right which is protected by the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights at the Federal level.

    Thanks to the 14th Amendment we have a route to bring the protection of that right to the State level.

    The same five justices who ruled in favor of the Heller vs. DC decision are still alive and still on the bench. They will vote in favor of McDonald vs. City of Chicago and there is a strong chance more justices will join them since this case could become a landmark decision involving the Privileges and Immunities clause of the 14th Amendment.

    This will give lots of people, not just gun owners, the chance to undo lots of "bad" Supreme Court decisions from the late 1800's.

    So next week's oral arguments, and the decision to follow some time in June, will finally restore all of our right to self defense.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The 10th amendment prohibits states from passing legislation that overrules rights provided by the constitution.

    The handgun ban in Chicago is defended on the basis that the 10 the amendment doesn't apply to local governments, but only to states.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    If the SCOTUS decides that this is the correct interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, then my Family, will willingly take the Risk of going against the Law.

    "Survival of the Fittest" supersedes Law, on the scale of the Real World.

    Many will find out the hard way... but, not us.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • L.T.M.
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago



    No. 07–290. Argued March 18, 2008—Decided June 26, 2008


    1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.Pp. 2–53.

    (a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22


    (b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation.


    You can't get more clear than that.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

    Source(s): Bush was a 50/50 president for me but we have him to thank for this due to his appointments.
    • Login to reply the answers
  • Max50
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The hand gun ban in Chicago is going down in flames.

    The court has ruled time and time again against these type of blanket bans.

    Considering the court hasn't changed that much this too will go down.

    If gun control was so important than why are all the gang member still packing?

    The City of Chicago doesn't go after gang member the same way they go after the McDonalds in the world?

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    It'll never be a second class Constitutional Right to me. I am a hunter and have been most of my life. I am also well versed in personal protection and have a Class A LTC. I follow the laws and pay all my 'fees' and have all my arms registered. I will never give up my right willingly.

    Source(s): From My Cold Dead Hands......
    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.