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Fourteenth Amendment Incorporates Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms

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By FindLaw Staff on June 28, 2010 3:14 PM

McDonald v. City of Chicago, No. 08-1521, involved an action against the City of Chicago alleging that the City's handgun ban left plaintiffs vulnerable to criminals.  The Court reversed judgment for defendants, holding that the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment right, recognized in Heller, to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense.

As the Court wrote:  "Two years ago, in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. ___ (2008), we held that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense, and we struck down a District of Columbia law that banned the possession of handguns in the home. The city of Chicago (City) and the village of Oak Park, a Chicago suburb, have laws that are similar to the District of Columbia's, but Chicago and Oak Park argue that their laws are constitutional because the Second Amendment has no application to the States. We have previously held that most of the provisions of the Bill of Rights apply with full force to both the Federal Government and the States. Applying the standard that is well established in our caselaw, we hold that the Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States."

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