You are to argue the validity and usefulness of the Second Amendment in today’s society. What restrictions should the government be allowed to place on the ownership of firearms?  Notes:  In 2010 in the case of McDonald v Chicago the U. S. Supreme Court held (5 to 4) that the 2nd Amendment right has been incorporated through the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause and is fully enforceable against the states. The Court in an opinion written by Justice Alito proceeded to strike down Chicago’s gun regulation insofar as it prohibited the private possession in the home of handguns for self-defense.

CASE STUDY: McDonald v. City of Chicago Case

McDonald v. City of Chicago case in which on June 28 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5–4) that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which guarantees “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” applies to state and local governments as well as to the federal government.

The Right To Bear Arms In America

The case arose in 2008, when Otis McDonald, a retired African American custodian, and others filed suit in U.S. District Court to challenge provisions of a 1982 Chicago law that, among other things, generally banned the new registration of handguns and made registration a prerequisite of possession of a firearm. The next day the National Rifle Association and others filed separate lawsuits challenging the Chicago law and an Oak Park, Ill., law that generally prohibited the possession or carrying of handguns and the carrying of other firearms except rifles or shotguns in one’s home or place of business. Each suit alleged that the law violated the right of individuals to possess and carry weapons, which the Supreme Court had found to be protected by the Second Amendment in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008). (Anticipating this finding, the plaintiffs in McDonald v. City of Chicago filed suit on the same morning that the decision in Heller was announced.) The crucial question, however, was whether the Second Amendment is applicable to the states and their political subdivisions. Citing “selective incorporation,” the Supreme Court’s gradual application to the states of most of the protections of the Bill of Rights through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (which prohibits the states from denying life, liberty, or property without due process of law), the plaintiffs argued that the Second Amendment is applicable through that clause as well as through the amendment’s “privileges or immunities” clause (which forbids the states from abridging the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States).

The district court dismissed the suits. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit consolidated the cases and affirmed the lower court’s decision, noting that it was compelled to adhere to precedents in which “the Supreme Court…rebuffed requests to apply the second amendment to the states.” The Supreme Court granted certiorari to the plaintiffs in McDonald on Sept. 30, 2009, and oral arguments were heard on March 2, 2010.

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