New Battle in the Gun War Heads to the Supreme Court

"Although it became popular a while ago to stamp out our Second Amendment rights, but it's fading by ... It is a shift," said seller Jerry Cochran at a recent gun show.

But the big question that remains is what kind of restrictions can be imposed on gun ownership.

In the landmark D.C. case, Justice Antonin Scalia, mindful of high crime rates, said the right to hold firearms was not absolute.

"Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill," he wrote, or in "sensitive places" like schools or government buildings, or laws regulating commerce in firearms, as well as banning "dangerous and unusual weapons," which would include military-style assault weapons.

Gun control advocates, who were devastated by the D.C. ruling and admit they will probably lose the Chicago case, are pinning their hopes on this opening left by the court.

"The court made it very clear that the Second Amendment right is not unlimited and that there can be restrictions on who gets guns, where they take guns, what kind of guns they get, how they're carried, how they're stored, how they're sold," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign, a gun control advocacy group.

That's why the Supreme Court's case has implications for the rest of the country and opens up a whole new chapter in the gun battle. If outright bans are eliminated, the two sides will fight over restrictions such as registration and waiting periods. Those could be the next battle to reach the Supreme Court.

Even as Chicago remains divided over gun laws -- some believe it would only contribute to the escalating violence -- for some residents such as McDonald, overturning the city's laws would mean more protection.

"The days that we live in now and the people that we live around," McDonald said. "I never thought would be as dangerous as I see they are today."

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