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Jul 20

The Consequences of <i>McDonald v.Chicago</i>: Will the Sky Fall or Do More Guns Mean Less Crime?

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Just days ago, the Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in McDonald v. Chicago, holding that individual citizens have constitutional gun rights – not just against the federal government – but also against local governments, and striking down Chicago’s almost complete ban on handguns in the home. Several big city mayors are squawking that the sky will fall and violence will reign supreme. What are the legal and practical consequences of this decision?

In its decisions this year and in 2008, the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects individual gun rights of all Americans, but how broad are those rights? Even if most gun bans are unconstitutional, some regulations are permissible. Which ones? Just as important, what are the practical implications of more law-abiding citizens keeping guns? In McDonald, the High Court noted that gun murders increased after Chicago banned guns. Do more guns mean less crime, as John Lott argues in the third edition of his influential book? The Supreme Court has just begun to grapple with the meaning of the Second Amendment, but our panelists will have many more answers regarding both the legal and practical ramifications of the Court’s decision.

More About the Speakers

Alan Gura
Counsel for Otis McDonald in McDonald v. Chicago and for Dick Heller in DC v. Heller

John Lott
Author of More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws

Hosted By

Todd F. Gaziano Todd F. Gaziano

Director, Center for Legal & Judicial Studies Read More