Obama Mum on Chicago Gun Ban

By Greg Wallace

Jun 26, 2008 12:57pm

ABC News’ Teddy Davis, Alexa Ainsworth, and Gregory Wallace Report: Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., is hedging on whether Chicago’s ban on handguns is constitutionally permissible in the wake of Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling striking down a similar law in Washington, D.C.

He included a cryptic reference to "what works in Chicago" in his Thursday statement on the DC gun ruling.

"I know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne," said Obama.

But Obama’s spokesman says that the reference to "what works in Chicago" does not indicate his view on the constitutionality of Chicago law.

"He didn’t point out anything specific except for the fact that they are two different places where different solutions are often appropriate," Obama spokesman Bill Burton tells ABC News.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., by contrast, has been less guarded in offering his view on what Thursday’s ruling means for Chicago.

"Today’s ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller makes clear that other municipalities like Chicago that have banned handguns have infringed on the constitutional rights of Americans," said McCain in a paper statement issued by his campaign.

Chicago is a focus of attention because it is the major city whose gun laws come closest to those found in the nation’s capital. While Chicago’s handgun ban is similar to the one found in Washington, D.C., the Windy City’s gun law does not have restrictions on long guns like the ones found in the nation’s capital.

Chicago can also be distinguished from D.C. from a legal standpoint in that it is not a federal enclave. 

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