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News Release
June 28, 2010

In Landmark Ruling, Supreme Court Overturns Chicago Handgun Ban

OAKLAND, Calif., June 28, 2010—On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its second landmark decision on Second Amendment rights in three years, in the case of McDonald v. Chicago, overturning the city of Chicago’s ban on handguns and affirming the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller ruling that invalidated the handgun ban in the nation’s capital.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote on behalf of the five-justice majority that “the right to keep and bear arms must be regarded as a substantive guarantee, not a prohibition that could be ignored so long as the States legislated in an evenhanded manner.”

Stephen P. Halbrook, Ph.D., J.D., Research Fellow at The Independent Institute and author of the books, The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms and Securing Civil Rights: Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms, both of which were cited repeatedly in the McDonald case decision, commented that, “Chicago sought to reserve the power to ban ‘a weapon generally in common use for lawful purposes in one locale (such as a high-powered hunting rifle with precision sighting equipment popular in rural Illinois),’ to preclude its ‘use by Chicago gangs seeking to assassinate rivals’.” His earlier Amici Curiae Brief in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of District of Columbia v. Heller was filed on behalf of 55 members of the Senate, the Senate President, and 250 members of the House of Representatives.

Dr. Halbrook’s commentary on the background of this important ruling appeared in The Washington Examiner.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Stephen Halbrook, please contact Lindsay Boyd, Director of Communications for The Independent Institute at 510.632.1366, ext. 116, or

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