McDonald v. City of Chicago

McDonald v. City of Chicago

Supreme Court of the United States

Filed: June 26, 2008

Decided: June 28, 2010

Status: Closed

In the aftermath of the landmark 2008 Heller decision overturning the District of Columbia’s handgun ban, the Second Amendment Foundation – alongside Otis McDonald, Adam Orlov, Colleen Lawson, David Lawson, and the Illinois State Rifle Association – challenged a similar handgun ban in the City of Chicago.

Heller first articulated a fundamental and individual right to keep and bear arms as it applied to firearm restrictions enacted by the federal government, but at that time, state and local government restrictions escaped the purview of the Second Amendment. At issue in McDonald was whether those same rights applied in the state and local law context as well – meaning, was the Second Amendment incorporated into the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. This question was critical to the 2A movement’s ability to challenge the modern gun control enacted in a number of states.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court agreed with SAF’s position, holding that the right to keep and bear arms was indeed incorporated into the Fourteenth Amendment through the Due Process Clause. As a result of this decision, state gun control could now be challenged in federal court on the grounds of Second Amendment protection. This landmark case and decision laid the groundwork for the vast majority of Second Amendment challenges today and truly marked the beginning of the end for many state gun control statutes and local gun control ordinances.

As of December 2023, McDonald has been cited over 2,300 times by the courts.

Case Team: Alan Gura

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