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Chicago approves new handgun regulations following Supreme Court ruling

The Chicago City Council [official website] on Friday unanimously approved an ordinance placing new regulations on handgun ownership within the city. Under the new ordinance [press release], citizens possessing handguns must keep them inside their homes. The gun owners are not permitted to take their guns into the yard, garage or porch of the home. Additional requirements were also placed on handgun registration. Adults who are legally permitted to own handguns may register one handgun a month and the registration must be renewed every three years. The legislation was enacted four days after the US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] ruled [opinion, PDF] in McDonald v. Chicago [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that the Second Amendment [text] right to bear arms is applicable to the states as well as the federal government. The court remanded McDonald to the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website], where they are expected to rule that Chicago's current handgun ban [ordinance, PDF] is unconstitutional because it prohibits citizens from keeping handguns in their homes for protection. Chicago Mayor Richard Daly [official website] spoke about the need for the new ordinance on Thursday and called for the city council to act quickly in order to pass restrictions that were within the constitutional limits described by the court in McDonald. The ordinance is scheduled to go into effect on July 12, although lawsuits challenging its validity are expected.

The court's ruling in McDonald cited the holding in District of Columbia v. Heller [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] where the court held that the Second Amendment protects the right to possess a handgun in the home for the purpose of self-defense. The District of Columbia enacted a new series of firearm regulations following the court's ruling in Heller. The regulations were recently upheld [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] by a federal judge who cited Heller, holding that the Second Amendment does not prohibit regulation of firearms where that regulation will "effectuate the goal of promoting public safety."

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