A deeply divided Supreme Court on Monday decided that the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment gives all Americans the individual right to keep and bear arms. The case, in which the conservatives outvoted the liberals 5-4, followed in the path of a decision a two years ago in the case District of Columbia v. Heller that interpreted the Second Amendment to give residents of the federal District of Columbia the right to own a gun.
In the new case, McDonald et al. v. The City of Chicago, the lead plaintiff was a sympathetic elderly African-American man who wanted a gun to defend his home against local gangs, but was barred from owning one legally due to Chicago's blanket prohibition on handgun ownership. Although the Court technically only decided that the Second Amendment applies to the states, and remanded the case to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Heller decision ensures that Chicago's absolute gun ban will fall, and gives everyone an individual right to own a gun.
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