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View Full Version : McCain takes aim at Obama and Chicago gun law


Ssarge
June 26, 2008, 10:58
McCain: Chicago Gun Ban Infringes On Rights
Republican Presidential Candidate Singles Out Chicago In Statement Praising Supreme Court Ruling
Gun Rights Ruling May Change Chicago Law
ARLINGTON, Va. (CBS) U.S. Sen. John McCain said Thursday that the Supreme Court ruling in favor of gun ownership showed that the Chicago handgun ban has "infringed on the constitutional rights of Americans."

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee called the ruling a "landmark victory for Second Amendment freedom in the United States."

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"For the first time in the history of our Republic, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms was and is an individual right as intended by our Founding Fathers," McCain said in a statement.

He criticized Sen. Barack Obama for not signing a bipartisan amicus brief supporting the ruling later issued by the Supreme Court, and singled out the Chicago ban in describing what the ruling should change.

"Today's ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller makes clear that other municipalities like Chicago that have banned handguns have infringed on the constitutional rights of Americans," McCain said in the statement.

He also targeted a campaign comment by Obama that said residents of struggling small towns "get bitter, they cling to their guns or religion."


"Unlike the elitist view that believes Americans cling to guns out of bitterness, today's ruling recognizes that gun ownership is a fundamental right -- sacred, just as the right to free speech and assembly," McCain said.

Obama has supported gun control in both the Illinois State Senate and the U.S. Senate. He had not issued a statement about the ruling as of 10 a.m. Thursday.

The court's 5-4 ruling strikes down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision goes further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most firearms laws intact.

The Supreme Court ruling does not automatically invalidate the Chicago handgun ban, but opens up the possibility of an court challenge that could get it declared unconstitutional.

The court had not conclusively interpreted the Second Amendment since its ratification in 1791. The amendment reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual's right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia.

In Chicago, a ban on the sale and registration of handguns has been in place since 1982. Only police officers, aldermen and a handful of others are exempt from the ban.

While other firearms can be registered, under current law, handguns cannot be registered and are considered illegal. Several suburbs have similar restrictions.

The Supreme Court ruling does not automatically invalidate the Chicago handgun ban, but opens up the possibility of an court challenge that could get it declared unconstitutional