Supreme Court Effectively Upholds Local Assault Weapon Ban

By Gass, Henry | The Christian Science Monitor, December 7, 2015 | Go to article overview

Supreme Court Effectively Upholds Local Assault Weapon Ban


Gass, Henry, The Christian Science Monitor


The US Supreme Court handed gun control advocates a modest victory on Monday, deciding not to hear a challenge from gun rights activists to a Chicago suburb's ordinance banning assault weapons.

The ordinance from the city of Highland Park, Ill., passed in 2013, bans various semi-automatic weapons (it also bans some weapons by name, including AR-15s and AK-47s) as well as magazines holding more than 10 rounds of bullets.

The Illinois State Rifle Association and Dr. Arie S. Friedman, a Highland Park resident, challenged the ordinance in the Chicago- based United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. A divided three-judge panel for the appeals court upheld the ordinance in an April ruling. The plaintiffs asked the Supreme Court to review the appeals court decision, but the high court declined.

The justices gave no reason for turning down the appeal, as is their custom, and the ruling continues a trend that has seen the Court refuse to hear a Second Amendment since 2010.

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms, but legal arguments over its scope have persisted for decades.

In 2008 case District of Columbia vs. Heller the Court ruled for the first time that the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual right to bear arms, although the ruling only applied to firearms kept in the home for self-defense. In 2010, the court extended that principle to the states.

Four members of the nine-person court need to vote to take up a case. Only Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, two conservatives on the court, said the justices should have taken the case.

Justice Thomas wrote in a six-page dissent that several lower courts "have upheld categorical bans on firearms that millions of Americans commonly own for lawful purposes."

The Supreme Court should have heard the appeal of the Seventh Circuit's ruling, he added, to prevent the appeals court ruling "from relegating the Second Amendment to a second-class right."

The Highland Park ordinance specifically bans only "unusual and dangerous firearms." Questioning whether semi-automatic rifles fit that definition, Thomas argued in his dissent that semi-automatic rifles are popular, and that the majority of owners use them for lawful purposes.

"Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons," he added.

Lawyers for Highland Park, in defense of the ordinance, noted that it was enacted "following a series of tragic mass shootings across the nation," including the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, where a gunman killed 20 first graders and six adults. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Supreme Court Effectively Upholds Local Assault Weapon Ban
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.