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Next Legal Gun Fight May Be the Right to Bear Arms in Public

August 1, 2011 11:27:30 am

Gun-ownership advocates are filing lawsuits in courts across the U.S., hoping to get rulings that people have a constitutional right not only to keep firearms in their homes, but to carry them in public, reports the Wall Street Journal. Two recently filed suits in Illinois are among several that could ultimately provide the U.S. Supreme Court its next opportunity to clarify the rather murky outlines of the Second Amendment.

"Whether the right to bear arms extends to outside the home is the next battlefield," said Adam Winkler, a law professor at UCLA and a Second Amendment expert. "And if that right does exist, courts then have to wrestle with a whole host of other issues, like how far it extends and what kinds of permitting regimes are permissible." The Illinois suits challenge the constitutionality of the state's gun-control laws, which ban nearly everyone from carrying firearms outside their homes and are widely considered the most restrictive in the country. The recent legal challenges follow two landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings that nullified gun bans in Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

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