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Court denies gun-ban appeal

Wed., June 3, 2009

CHICAGO – A federal appeals court Tuesday upheld ordinances barring the ownership of handguns in most cases in Chicago and suburban Oak Park, finding a Supreme Court ruling in a District of Columbia case doesn’t apply.

The three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the National Rifle Association’s appeal of a judge’s ruling in December that upheld the Chicago and Oak Park ordinances.

Last year the Supreme Court struck down a District of Columbia handgun ban, ruling that the Second Amendment entitles people to keep handguns at home for self protection. The appeals panel agreed with U.S. District Judge Milton Shadur’s decision that the high court’s ruling dealt with a federal gun ban and the Second Amendment could not be used to overturn local ordinances.

Chicago officials impraised the ruling. “We are pleased with this decision because it means that we can continue to enforce our gun ordinance,” said city spokeswoman Jennifer Hoyle.

Hoyle said she understood the NRA intended to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote that “the Constitution establishes a federal republic where local differences are to be cherished as elements of liberty rather than extirpated in order to produce a single, nationally applicable rule.”

“Federalism is an older and more deeply rooted tradition than is a right to carry any particular kind of weapon,” he wrote.

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