Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Supreme Court Rules On Guns Rights Case

Monday June 28, 2010

Today the Supreme Court ruled on McDonald vs. Chicago. It's a case that dealt with Chicago's handgun ban, and whether Second Amendment Rights were being violated.

The court ruled in favor of gun owner rights, ordering a federal appeals court to reconsider the nearly 30-year ban.

It's a ruling that could impact gun laws in almost every state.

"In my opinion, self-defense in America has been validated today," said Lead Plaintiff Otis McDonald.

In a 5 to 4 vote, the Supreme Court settled McDonald vs. Chicago, ruling that it is unconstitutional for state and local governments to restrict individual gun rights.

It's an issue that has been up for national debate since the Heller vs. The District of Columbia Case, which dealt only on a federal level, and was settled 2 years ago.

"We think this is a monumental day," said Wayne LaPierre of the NRA. "It is vindication for the great majority of Americans all across the land that have always believed this was an individual right worth defending."

"Bottom line after this decision, you're gonna see a lot more lawsuits because now any criminal defendant that has a gun charge can raise a second amendment issue," disagreed Paul Helmke with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

The ruling recognizes an individuals right to bear arms, and Senator Jon Tester has been a leading lawmaker working in favor of today's ruling. Tester, along with Senator Hutchison from Texas, presented a "59-page friend of the court brief" to the Supreme Court last October.

"This is a victory for law-abiding citizens across America," said Tester. "It ensures that folks' second amendment rights are protected regardless of where they live."

While Montana is already home to what many would call favorable gun-right laws, Great Falls gun dealer Kevin Lake is glad to see the case settled.

"I''m very excited to see things go this way," said Lake. "I think its something we've needed for a long time. It is just now that they're finally basically putting it into law. The federal government is finally coming down and saying okay this is an individual right, you can do this, you can own a firearm."

And while gun bans,like the one currently in place in Chicago, are expected to be reversed in the near future, the ruling sends a message that the same gun rights apply to the city as they do in rural states.

"There are a lot of places in Montana, where if you call 911, you maybe an hour or 45 minutes from any help at all," said Lake.

The Supreme Court split down party lines, with the four liberal justices opposing the ruling.

Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the majority.


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