Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Gun-control case divides state AGs

The Honolulu Advertiser reports:
A gun-control case to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court March 18 has exposed a division among state attorneys general over the meaning of the Second Amendment, the fiercely debated constitutional provision that guarantees Americans the right to "keep and bear arms."

Attorneys general from 31 states have filed a legal brief urging the high court to strike down the law being challenged in the case, the District of Columbia's strict, 32-year-old ban on handguns. Led by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican, the group backs a security guard who wants the district's statute to be ruled unconstitutional.

Lending their support to the District of Columbia are attorneys general from five other states — Hawai'i, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York — who say reasonable regulation of dangerous firearms is constitutional and keeps the public safe. A sixth attorney general, Democrat Lisa Madigan of Illinois, sided with the district in an earlier court filing, but declined to join the supporting states' latest brief.
Here's a very interesting quote:
While no states have outright handgun bans like the district's — only the city of Chicago does — the five states whose attorneys general are supporting the district do restrict the sale of assault weapons such as semi-automatic firearms, according to the Brady Campaign.
Here's the highly unusual story behind Chicago's gun control ordinance.