The Supreme Court reversed a ruling upholding Chicago's ban today and extended the reach of the 2nd Amendment as a nationwide protection against laws that infringe the "right to keep and bear arms."
The 5-4 decision appears to void the 1982 ordinance, one of the nation's strictest that barred city residents from having handguns for their own use, even at home.
Two year ago, the high court ruled in a case from Washington, D.C. that the 2nd Amendment protects the rights of individuals to have a gun for self-defense. Since the District is a federal city and not a state, the court did not decide then whether the 2nd Amendment could be used to challenge other municipal ordinances or state laws.
In today's decision, the court said the constitutional protection of the 2nd Amendment extends to city and state laws, not just federal measures.
But because the court sent the case back to a lower court, Chicago's handgun ban remains in effect for now.
Gun-rights advocates have been closely following the Chicago case. They said a victory for the 2nd Amendment would clear the way for constitutional challenges to restrictions on firearms to be heard in federal courts nationwide.