Pro-Gun Groups Plan to Drown Gun Laws in Litigation
After Supreme Court decision, other gun control likely will be challenged.
June 26, 2008— -- As a result of today's 5-4 Supreme Court decision that protected an individual's right to keep and carry a handgun under the Second Amendment, gun laws across the nation are expected to face an avalanche of legal challenges.
Following the ruling on a Washington gun ban, pro-gun forces appear poised to file litigation across the country on a whole range of gun regulations — from mandatory trigger locks to waiting periods and assault weapons bans.
"I think it's quite clear that any regulation that even approaches what we have in Washington, D.C. is going to be challenged and going to be invalidated," Bob Levy of the Cato Institute told ABC News.
Indeed, in his dissent to today's court's decision, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that he feared that the case "may well be just the first of an unknown number of dominoes to be knocked off the table."
And early indications are that he may be right.
In San Francisco Friday, a pro-gun group will sue the city over its ban on handguns in public housing complexes.
In Chicago and several surrounding suburbs, where there are handgun bans similar to the one in Washington, legal challenges appear imminent, too.
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley strongly disapproved of the Supreme Court's decision.
"Why don't we do away with the court system and go back to the old West?" he remarked. "You have a gun, and I have a gun. We'll settle it on the streets."
In New York, one of the toughest cities for obtaining a gun, there appeared to be a real possibility of litigation against the city's stringent license requirements. Though New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the city's handgun policies as passing the court's test, others disagreed.
Gun control advocates, like Robin Thomas of the Legal Community Against Violence, are confident they can swat away many of the challenges to gun control laws, but they are worried that their hands will be tied in the fight against urban violence.
"We have a great concern that resources will have to be spent defending good laws that are already on the books," Thomas said.