The Supreme Court of the United States announced this morning its 5-4 decision in favor of the plaintiffs in McDonald v. Chicago.

The short news is, “We Won!”

The slightly longer news is, the Chicago handgun ban wasn’t actually struck down, but the case was remanded to the relevant Federal court. Since that court must now incorporate the highest court’s ruling, it’s pretty much the same as if the ban HAD been, well, banned.

The fight, of course, is not over. Mayor Daley has vowed to oppose it in every way. Expect red tape the consistency of concertina wire when you attempt to acquire a handgun and register it in Chicago: insanely high registration fees, and the equivalent of a Master’s Degree in Firearms Safety from Harvard, if there was such a thing. There will almost certainly have to be follow-up litigation to implement practical change. “I think we need one more Supreme Court case on guns to make it clear to the circuit courts what they mean about reasonable regulation. That will take about 3-5 years to percolate,” pro-gun attorney Steve Harris wrote me today.

Nonetheless, activists for the civil rights of gun owners have every reason to celebrate. While the gun-banners are already putting their pathetic spin on it, the reality is that in conjunction with SCOTUS’ previous landmark decision in Heller, precedent has been set for other onerous laws that limit rights at levels below the Federal to be successfully challenged and set aside.

Backwoods Home founder Dave Duffy told me this morning when the decision was announced, “It’s a great day for freedom.” I’ll second that.

Let’s not forget that it was the Second Amendment Foundation and the Illinois State Rifle Association that brought the suit, with the NRA jumping in later. SAF’s Dave Workman offers THIS commentary.

Read the decision in its entirety HERE.


  1. If some infringement is OK, then aplying similar logic to the 14th Amendment… some local slavery is OK, is it not? The decision addressed both, didn’t it?

    Let the taking of slaves commence! Will slaves have to be registered? Can more than one be purchased per month? Will there be a national registry of slaves?


    While saying the 2nd Amendment exists, they also asserted that… If you aren’t dead, in jail, or in financial ruin by trying to publicly keep and bear arms -Then today’s SCOTUS acknowledged your right to beg lawyer to help you beg a court to help you appeal to beg SCOTUS again.

    Right to lawyers? Check.
    Right of governments to restrict individual rights? Check
    Right of citizens to Keep and Bear Arms? err, ah, not so much.

    They are no longer Justices, just traitors in robes, supoprting a Lawyer work-fare project which they hope to perpetuate.

    “Laws repugnant to the Constitution are null and void”
    – John Marshall, SCOTUS, Marbury vs Madison, 1803

    Governments repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.

  2. It is a great day and victory, but it is deeply concerning how much the dissenting judges were still really arguing against the original Heller decision in their responses. We should remain vigilant as we are only one justice from a complete reversal of these wins down the road. Obama’s first court appointment sure didn’t give reverence to precedent set by Heller as she indicated she would (she said she’d give great respect to precedent).

    I feel the work that my wife and I do with 4H Shooting Sports and opportunities for other new and non-shooters like NRA programs and the Appleseed Project will be important in training a new generation of freedom loving Americans who know the value of firearms in a free society.

  3. Here in CA, we already had three cases on hold pending the outcome of McDonald, one that challenges the CA roster of safe handguns, one that challenges the issuing policies of CCW permits in two counties, and one that challenges a ban on gun shows on county property. These cases are now likely to proceed in the next few months, hopefully to beat back the relentless onslaught of “progressive” CA lawmakers. Perhaps term limits wasn’t such a good idea…we seem to end up with more “knee-jerk, feel-good” legislation with little or no deference to Constitutional law or common sense. McDonald is one judicial step of many to repair the legislative damage done. It may never end up being a complete fix, but it will look a lot better than it does now.

  4. “Expect red tape the consistency of concertina wire when you attempt to acquire a handgun and register it in Chicago…There will almost certainly have to be follow-up litigation to implement practical change.”

    Things like that are exactly the kind of de-facto gun control the court is supposed to be forbidding when it comes to a ruling of this scope and magnitude! Commentators sofa and Dann hit it right on the head; we have essentially “won only on paper,” and nothing more. Shame on the Justices one and all for doing the equivalent of merely paying lip service to our God-given and Constitutionally-enumerated rights!

    That fact that we DID “win on paper,” however, is at least a happier and more promising prospect than it would’ve been if we’d lost…can’t say any differently on that area for sure, if nothing else.

  5. The ruling put a smile on my face. It is a shame that we have to fight tooth and nail to have a law against our constitutional right overturned.

  6. Sofa,

    The “some infringement,” clause has already been applied to many of the other rights. The first and fourth amendments have been altered by that pernicious thought process. Freedom of speech is abridged when it’s for the public good, safety, might make a politician feel bad etc. The fourth amendment was abridged to allow sobriety/seat belt check points, border control check points, 30 miles from the border, etc. Even with McDonald being “won” in favor of the Individual Right to Keep and Bare Arms, the devil is in the details. Deciding that reasonable restrictions are “okay” provides the opportunity for our enemies to work around the ruling.

  7. So, I guess my question now becomes how much of a victory this ruling actually represents?
    I mean, with every major ruling I’ve seen from the high court, recently being split 5/4, it seems clear to me that law isn’t what’s driving judgements as much as political idealology.
    Are we now in a world where the future of the constitution is subject to which president happens to be in office when a supreme court slot needs to be filled?
    It bothers me on a fundimental level that years of effort went into 2 court cases (heller and mcdonald) to say esentially, yes, the second amendment really is part of the constitution and yes, the states have to abide by it…to a degree.
    How best can I throw my weight behind this movement to get some real change for future generations?

  8. See how Blagojevich trial now is turning into a trial of Chicago’s entire political elites?
    That’s the best thing going for gun owners – as, ultimately, it will focus on the Daley Dynasty itself and its crimes.

  9. MD Matt, short answer to your question…dedicate your life and money to getting a new breed into Congress and then a new President. That’s all you need to do…

    P.S. I am hoping that you are a billionaire and want to help out the cause..LOL…the last Presidential race cost 500 MILLION dollars for the two parties. It is gonna be a long hard slog in the courts for the next 20 or 30 years minimum. Remember that Alan Gura would be nowhere if his partner wasn’t a multi-millionaire. This isn’t even close to being over and that is just discussing the 2A issue. The other cultural attacks will also need to be fought simultaneously.

  10. The logic of law…. damn, if that isn’t an oxymoron, nothing is. Our highest court has it’s foundation in politics and we can be thankful for the 5 to 4 decision…. THIS TIME.

    As for me, I favor good ole Farm Boy Logic. Here’s how it works….

    Theorem 1: You can’t keep guns out of the hands of bad guys. If they can’t buy them, they will steal them or even make them.

    Theorem 2: Bad guys do not like good guys having guns. It decreases their odds of success and adds a ton of risk in their endeavors.

    Therefore, if good guys are armed, smart bad guys will go into politics or accounting, and the dumb bad guys will cease to exist.

  11. This is heartening for sure but scary at the same time because of the 5-4 vote. The side of common sense is holding on by 1 vote. Pray for the good health of those 5 till the Messiah is voted out.

  12. King George went for the munitions at Concord when there was a rift between the British rulers and the Colonists (desiring self-governance). He knew where they were. The twentieth century has seen registration followed by confiscation numerous times. What do you think will happen to your registered firearm when there is a police or military emergency? Not enough discussion on this issue.

  13. A good victory on paper, but on a practical level for the man on the street, I don’t know how things will be much different. When the United States has more board certified lawyers than the countries in the rest of the world combined, there will always be some way for slimy politicians to get around the law and rule their subjects as they wish. Besides, with a good portion of our population already dumbed down over the decades by our liberal controlled education system, they are many Democratic zombies on the other side willing to go along with anything the lefties decreed. We need to systematically and thoroughly clean out all the liberal politicians from positions of power to get our nation back on track, but I doubt this can be done at this point in time as they are too entrenched in government and society. Our messianic Dear Leader will continue to rule as he wishes and his soon-to-be-confirmed Supreme Court nominee will be another nail in the coffin of liberty. We should still try though, as to give up is to fail.

  14. I believe that Daley and his minions will place serious restrictions on firearms ownership as the SCOTUS allows. The District of Columbia has already placed these restrictions. While this is a great victory for firearm ownership in most states, the city of Chicago will work hard to fight this in court much as D.C. has done.

    As for the health of the existing justices, God bless the good ones. Obama is packing the court just as all Presidents have done. The people who vote for a president want and expect this( whether they know it or not).

    A good day for freedom, but not necessarily for Chicago, Oak Park and D.C.

  15. Tom606: I heard a good one from the professor that led our D-Day trip to the Normandy beaches. The professor ( about 70 years of age), told us that his father referred to Franklin D. Roosevelt as “That man who lives in the White House” instead of ever calling him by name. To me, it is just as telling as calling Obama as the “Dear Leader” as in done in the PRK.

  16. Fred: Your professor is a wise man. I also refer to our Dear Leader as the “current White House resident”. Since I don’t want to call that hypocritical, self righteous demagogue any nasty names and have the S.S. come after me, I will refer to him in milder terms. It will be a great day for America when he has to vacate the White House and we get a good man or woman in there to save our nation and undo the excretement this former community organizer has put us through. Two and a half years is a long time to wait for our messiah to leave Washington D.C. I hope the Anointed One has not thrown us gun owners in re-education camps by then 😉

  17. I’ll take what I can get, but it still seems like our current Justice’s don’t see things exactly like they did in the early days of our country:

    “This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty …. The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction” — St. George Tucker, Judge of the Virginia Supreme Court and U.S. District Court of Virginia in Blackstone Commentaries, 1803

    John Chick
    Monmouth, ME

    “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” –Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384

  18. I found the new Chicago law, which prohibits a gun owner from carrying his gun outside his house, even if that means into his own yard, on his porch, or in his enclosed and attached garage. I read much of the new ordinance, but unless I overlooked something, the new law, while stating that “a person” (that is, anyone who can lawfully own a gun) can legally transport his gun, does not state HOW one legally transports that gun. Disassembled, locked up in a box, and placed in one’s car trunk? I went to read the Chicago law because I figured this loophole would be there. Sure, you can own a gun IN your house. But you can’t transport a gun TO your house.

  19. Our would be masters in Federal, State and even Local government have helicopter gunships and tanks to use to oppress us.
    Still they are afraid of us owning handguns – the least effective firearm there is.
    We have cowards in charge and when cowards get in charge they lash out emotionally and do outlandishly evil things – The more I read about history the more I see that pattern repeating itself.

    Daley fits that mold – an emotion driven, outlandish coward.

  20. The bad guys (Richard Daley, Adrian Fenty, Michael Bloomberg, et. al.) will not stop violating the constitutional rights of the citizenry until they themselves are threatened with arrest and imprisonment for doing so.
    The first thing that we need is honest judges that will enforce the Constitution.
    The second thing that we need is an educated electorate that will throw the bad guys out.
    Good luck.

  21. Certainly a long awaited and well deserved decision but the 5-4 aspect is deeply troubling, especially with the anti-Rights bent of our current administration and the number of justices already sponsored by it, before even two years have past.
    As for the NRA I am deeply disappointed in that organization which has taken the “take everybody else”- first, position. It is not supporting gun-owners rights, only their own bureaucracy’s privileges.

  22. This is not the great victory we think it is. First, it doesn’t totally overturn Chicago’s gun ban. But, even if it did, it’s NEVER a good thing to give the Fedgov more power. It might have a temporary benefit in one area, but they can turn it around on us in a heartbeat. The Kelo decision allowing PRIVATE companies to exercise “emminent domain” against other PRIVATE landowners should’ve warned us against looking to “Big Brother” to solve local problems.

  23. Why do you have to abide by somebody else’s decision about whether *you* may have guns or not? It’s your life. Decide for yourself.

  24. Let the revolution commence.

    Withdraw. Do not cooperate. Do not make money that can be taxed. Do not pay taxes. Do as Gandhi did … just stop. Shut off the food, and the beast will die, and all the parasites that live off of us along with it.

    Live small. Live cheap. Stop feeding the beast. Stop wanting “stuff”, and want freedom, and liberty, MORE.

  25. There are NO reasonable regulations on the RIGHT to keep and bear arms,nor any of the rest of the rights in the Bill of Rights!!

    Ming Bucibei

  26. This is a double edge sword decision. One, the surface side, it is clearly a “statement” victory for our right to arms

    BUT and a big BUT the 2nd Amendment has now been judicially incorporated. Do you all fully understand that ? Now the Fed Gov has the legal right to determine gun policy in all states. _ overruling all of your individual state Constitutions. That legal right did not exist before Monday.

    Don’t forget the purpose of the Consitution and the attached Bill of rights. Te founders intended it to be the frame work for how the fedgov was to operate and the Bill of rights was only to state that Congress could not take those rights aways… NOT for Congress to tell States what to do. The enumerated powers of congress were clearly limited in thier impact on states .

    Now those states like Montana that had guns made in the state that never left their state are now subject to the same gun laws as any other state.

    Now it is legal for Congress to write any kind of onerous law they want. MAybe they will limit caliber to .30 …. How about that ?

    What we got out of this decision is MORE and BIGGER federal government that now controls even more of you life.

  27. MF in Missouri hits the nail on it’s head! This decision does nothing less than establish, or reaffirm, the 14th Amd as superior to all state constitutions and the Bill of Rights. A “fundamental right” is a right that belongs to the citizen and cannot be regulated by the government. Any governmental regulation of a right changes it’s status to a privilege that is granted by the government.
    Our states system of government was intended to be a “common law jurisdiction” (law of the land). The federal government was always an “international jurisdiction” (law of the sea – equity – admiralty). The 14th Amd brought the law of the sea onto the land and now we are paying the price.

  28. While this might be a temporary benefit to Chicago residents (although even that is questionable), I see this as more centralization of power. The Constitution and the (misnamed) Bill of Rights are supposed to limit the power of the federal government. This case should have been outside of the jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court should only strike down federal gun laws. By just saying that the Supreme Court did something good for freedom, perhaps they should also rule on gun laws in China. Would any libertarians out there have a problem if the city of Chicago used the idea of “nullification” to say that they were going to ignore the Supreme Court’s decision?

  29. @ Tatiana Covington and Epimenides Amen and well said!

    I take it one step further: Not only do I work hard to reduce my tax footprint as much as possible, but also work hard to find ways to reclaim my past taxes as much as possible through tax credits, gov “programs/handouts”, etc. (Yes I’m employed, but I will take “advantage” of every gov program I can) I’m not only starving the beast, but taking the food right out of it’s mouth.

  30. Along with the city’s new law requiring gun registration, mandatory training in responsible gun ownership and a purchase limit of one gun per person per month, Chicago’s Mayor Daley also announced that since the pen is mightier than the sword, a new city ordinance will also require all journalists and bloggers to register with the city, take mandatory classes from city licensed schools teaching responsible wordsmithing and a limit of one article per month. The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Suntimes enthusiastically supported the mayor’s new gun law but were aghast at this encroachment on their 1st Amendment rights.

  31. As I stated 15 minutes after I read the Heller decision, this is a real mess. I have not changed my mind with the McDonald decision.
    As I said before, this will give them the opportunity to regulate away the 2nd. Mayor Daley, and now Mayor Bloomberg are proving my point.
    We have yet to make the proper argument for the preservation of the right to keep and bear arms. That argument should stem from Article 1, Section 15, and the various state Militia Acts.
    We are not just talking about an inalienable right, which the governement can alienate through legislation, we are talking about a mandate of fundamental law.

  32. The more I read about the McDonald and Heller decisions the more upset I get. Jackie Hilly, the Executive Director of New Yorkers against Gun Violence, is quoted saying this:

    All the other amendments have reasonable restrictions on them. So I actually really like the Heller decision and the McDonald decision because they put the Second Amendment in the context of all the other amendments… people from the gun lobby like to promote the idea that you have an absolute or god-given right to possess a gun. That’s clearly not true; your right can be restricted.
    This decision also makes it clear that our rights are not natural and absolute. They are subject to the whims of the current members of the Supreme Court.

    We might rephrase the Second Amendment this way:
    The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed by the federal government, except by federal laws that infringe upon that right which are approved by the Supreme Court. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed by the state governments, except by state laws that infringe upon that right which are approved by the Supreme Court.

    Get ready for broad anti-gun measures requiring training courses, gun and/or ammunition registration, liability insurance, fingerprinting, guns to be kept unloaded, trigger locks, gun registries, waiting periods, background checks, the banning of “assault” weapons, high-capacity magazines and limitations on the type and amount of ammunition.

    I guess if they got away restricting the first amendment (Free speech zones) why should we expect the rest of our unalienable rights not to be transformed into privileges by a politician’s pen.


  33. Brogan,

    You got that exactly right.. It was a very sad day the more and more I think about it.
    In Missouri Our Consitution had the Bill of Rights as the very first thing not as Amanedments at the end.

    It said :

    ” Right to keep and bear arms–exception.

    Section 23. That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned; but this shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons”

    and even the Concealed carry was taken care of in later legislation.

    Now After McDonald . that means absolutely nothing with the FEDGOV being all supreme now.

    A very sad day indeed.