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Lawsuits seek to overturn gun bans following US Supreme Court ruling

[JURIST] US firearm ownership advocacy groups filed lawsuits in Chicago and San Francisco [court documents] late this week seeking to overturn laws which ban handguns within the cities. The lawsuits were filed within a day of the US Supreme Court decision [JURIST report] in District of Columbia v. Heller [Duke Law backgrounder; JURIST report], in which the Court ruled 5-4 that the Second Amendment [text] to the US Constitution prohibits the District of Columbia ban on private handgun ownership. Four residents of Chicago joined by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) [advocacy website] and the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) [official website] filed suit against the City of Chicago and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley [official website] in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, seeking to overturn the citywide handgun ban [municipal code text]. SAF's founder, Alan Gottlieb, said in a statement [press release] "Chicago’s handgun ban has failed to stop violent crime. It’s time to give the Constitution a chance." The National Rifle Association (NRA) [advocacy website] filed suit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, seeking a ruling against the city's ban on handguns in public housing. The lawsuit was joined by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) [advocacy website] and a resident of one of San Francisco's housing projects. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom [official website] said in a recent press release [text] that despite the Supreme Court decision, the laws will be upheld. AP has more.

The Supreme Court ruling was the first that directly addressed the Second Amendment since 1939's US v. Miller [case materials]. In September 2007, Washington DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and DC Attorney General Linda Singer [official profiles] formally appealed a March 2007 federal court ruling which invalidated the District of Columbia's handgun ban [JURIST reports]. The decision affirms the March DC Circuit holding [opinion, PDF] that the city's 30-year-old ban on private possession of handguns was unconstitutionally broad.

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