Steve Chapman: A court’s extreme view of the Second Amendment

Steve Chapman: A court’s extreme view of the Second Amendment

The modern era of gun rights began in 2008, when the Supreme Court struck down the District of Columbia’s near-total ban on handgun ownership. It later overturned a similar Chicago ordinance. Both were serious infringements on a freedom enshrined in the Second Amendment — “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” But gun rights advocates are not content with eliminating stringent regulations on firearms ownership and use. They oppose minimal ones as well. An Illinois circuit court judge recently ruled that the state’s requirement of a license to own a gun is unconstitutional, at least when applied to someone keeping a firearm at home. The case arose after deputies in downstate Carmi responded to a report of shots fired inside the home of Vivian Claudine Brown. Though they found no evidence of shots fired, they did find a rifle in her bedroom. That would have been fine except for one thing: Ms. Brown didn’t have a Firearm Owner’s Identification card, which the state requires for any resident to buy or possess a gun or ammunition. The card, which requires a $10 application fee and is good for 10 years, is available to anyone 21 or older, except for felons, “mental defectives,” drug users, undocumented immigrants and the like. She was charged with a misdemeanor. Ms. Brown’s lawyers argued that she was an upstanding soul who was otherwise entitled to keep a gun at home and that punishing her for failing to get a FOID card violated […]

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