An Analysis of the McDonald v. Chicago Case on Gun Control

Categories: Gun ControlJusticeLaw

The court case I chose is fairly recent it is McDonald v. Chicago the case encompasses 4 major “flaws” McDonald and other Chicago citizens saw in Chicago’s gun control and petitioned to change them.

The flaws go as follows:

  • Prohibition of handguns through not allowing registration of the firearms.
  • Any firearm must be registered before being acquired by Chicago citizens.
  • Re-registration along with reoccurring payment of the registration fee annually.
  • If the prior point goes without being followed, any gun with a lapsed, or expired, registration is unable to be registered ever again.

McDonald’s points seem valid, for one the law restricts handgun ownership in turn the right to own and bear arms. Some places require proof of ownership of firearms before registration, thus making point two impossible. Point tree has only one real flaw I can see there being grounds for arguing and that is the fee, if that wasn’t there it would be fine; but this fee makes it economically infeasible for people to own a gun.

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And finally if a gun is deemed unable to be registered this restricts an individual’s ability to bear that specific arm. Previously in the similar case of District of Columbia v. Heller the Supreme Court ruled that the second amendment did indeed protect individuals, as long as they were on or in federal property within the state.

This case did not address, however, what should be the case beyond these federal properties; whether the second amendment applies on a state level or not.

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This left precedent for McDonald v. Chicago. A major reason this case is in fact such a landmark is not its conclusion to the question left open by the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, but its potential to overturn the slaughter-house cases’ ruling which ruled that the fourteenth amendment’s Privileges or Immunities Clause did not include the second amendment or the Bill of Rights in general. If this case does indeed overturn the slaughter-house rulings then this will leave a window for any other possible change to laws based on infractions of the Bill of Rights, this makes this case a seat sitter for those for McDonald, against him and others with their own agendas waiting for the right opportunity.

Amendment Called Into Question

This case calls the second amendment and well in a way the fourteenth amendment as well. McDonald feels Chicago’s gun laws restricted and diminish his and others rights to own and bear arms as given by the second amendment. The fourteenth amendment is also being called into question for McDonald feels the second Amendment should be encompassed by the fourteenth amendment’s Privileges or Immunity Clause.


The Supreme Court ruled in favor of McDonald, overruling the prior ruling in the slaughter-house cases, making the second amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights, under the fourteenth amendment’s Privileges or Immunity Clause, extendable to individuals within states. Thirty-three amici curiae briefs were filed; one was signed by 58 senators and 251 representatives, making this the most congressionally supported verdict of all time. The other 32 were filed by stated on their own.

Established Precedent or Solidification

This case’s ruling furthered that of the District of Columbia v. Heller ruling protecting people in federal areas within states to extended to all parts of the states by overruling the slaughter-house ruling and stating that the Bill of Rights IS encompassed under the fourteenth amendment’s Privilege or Immunity Clause. The ruling established precedent for farther cases calling infractions of the Bill of Rights into question by extending it to all individuals, within a state not just a federal area.

Cite this page

An Analysis of the McDonald v. Chicago Case on Gun Control. (2022, Oct 25). Retrieved from

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