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Supreme Court to take up Chicago gun ban

The case challenging a handgun ban in Chicago will decide whether the individual right to bear arms upheld by the Supreme Court in a D.C. case last year applies to all states and cities, too.

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Fifteen months after declaring that Americans have an individual right to keep and bear arms, the US Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to decide an equally important issue – whether that constitutional protection applies not only in federal jurisdictions but in every city, county, and state in the nation.

The case is important not only because it will be a historic development in the interpretation of the Constitution, but also because it will establish basic ground rules for future gun control efforts.

The justices announced Wednesday that they will hear an appeal in McDonald v. City of Chicago challenging a handgun ban in Chicago. Gun owners in the city questioned the constitutionality of the ban, citing the Supreme Court's June 2008 decision, in a case called District of Columbia v. Heller, overturning a similar handgun ban in Washington, D.C.

The same lawyer, Alan Gura of Alexandria, Va., who successfully argued the Heller case at the high court is also set to argue the McDonald case.

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