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Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court this week, supporting the constitutionality of handgun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, Ill., and urging the Court to confirm the ability of states to protect the health and safety of their residents by regulating firearms within their borders.
“At the heart of this case is a question of whether states can continue to make decisions on how to protect their residents and regulate firearms, based on the will of the people in each state,” Ms. Madigan said. “We are urging the Court to rule in the interest of state and local authorities who are best suited to balance the need to protect residents from deadly gun violence against the legitimate interests of gun owners.”
Ms. Madigan’s brief, filed on behalf of the State of Illinois and joined by Maryland and New Jersey, in McDonald v. City of Chicago, urges the Court to rule that the Second Amendment does not apply to the states. In 2008, the Court held that the Second Amendment required the invalidation of a handgun ban in Washington, D.C., which is a federal jurisdiction. Extending the Second Amendment to apply to the states would overturn Supreme Court cases in the 1800s holding that the Second Amendment applies only to the federal government and more than two centuries of state gun regulations.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in this case on March 2, with a decision expected by the end of June.
The Supreme Court’s decision will likely have an impact in a related case pending against Evanston that challenges Evanston’s ordinance regulating the possession of firearms in the City.