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The Supreme Court Tuesday sent out signals that it would strike down laws that ban hand guns outright but suggested some limits could remain — a partial move that will keep alive the furious debate over the “right to bear arms.”
Justices indicated a desire to extend its 2008 ruling revoking Washington, DC’s ban of handgun ownership to cover other cities.
The Washington decision only covered federal law but a new ruling would extend the right to cities that have laws banning handguns. The District of Columbia is governed by federal law.
The current case involves a Chicago law banning ownership of handguns.
But the court seems less inclined to deal with other regulations on guns and that unwillingness could open the door for more legal challenges by gun control advocates.
At issues is what the Court says are “reasonable regulations” on ownership of guns. Justice Anthony Kennedy said states enjoy “substantial latitude and ample authority” to pass their own laws limited ownership and use of handguns.
He asks: “Why can’t we do the same things with firearms?”
Gun advocates, including the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) offer up the Second Amendment, saying the Bill of Rights gives Americans the “right to own and bear arms” and that is all that should put an end to all arguments against guns.
So the debate, and legal challenges, will continue.