ATLANTA – By a 5-4 margin, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the Second Amendment “applies equally to the federal government and the states.”
“The right of citizens to keep and bear arms is one of the most fundamental rights of a free people,” U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., said in a statement. “I applaud the Supreme Court for protecting this right for Americans in all 50 states. The decision represents more than a victory for gun rights activists; it is a victory for all Americans as the Supreme Court protects our Constitutional rights.”
The Supreme Court’s landmark decision was handed down as part of a federal lawsuit over handgun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, Ill. The ruling did not completely strike down all restrictions on gun ownership.
“A provision of the Bill of Rights that protects a right that is fundamental from an American perspective applies equally to the Federal Government and the States,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion.
Monday’s ruling follows a 2008 decision that overturned a handgun ban in Washington, D.C. Gun rights advocates heralded the ruling.
“For too long, Americans living in certain parts of the United States have been prevented by local governments from exercising their right to keep and bear arms,” U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., said in a statement. “Thankfully, the Supreme Court has correctly reaffirmed that the Second Amendment applies in every corner of the country. But the small margin by which this decision was reached also highlights the need for Supreme Court Justices who fully appreciate the basic rights ensured by the Constitution.”