Ezell v. Chicago

There was a big victory for gun rights today as the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals granted an injunction against City of Chicago’s cynical anti-gun law, adopted after McDonald, in which they require range training to own a gun but at the same time banned all public gun ranges in the city.

The decision did not throw out the law, as that was not yet at issue, but the opinion makes it virtually impossible for the law to stand. The court ruled that the First Amendment provides the right model in which to consider Second Amendment cases, and that gun laws covered by the Second Amendment should be considered with a level of scrutiny higher than intermediate scrutiny, “if not quite ‘strict scrutiny.'”

And there’s this:

This reasoning assumes that the harm to a constitutional right is measured by the extent to which it can be exercised in another jurisdiction. That’s a profoundly mistaken assumption. In the First Amendment context, the Supreme Court long ago made it clear that “ ‘one is not to have the exercise of his liberty of expression in appropriate places abridged on the plea that it may be exercised in some other place.’” . . . The same principle applies here. It’s hard to imagine anyone suggesting that Chicago may prohibit the exercise of a free‐speech or religious‐liberty right within its borders on the rationale that those rights may be freely enjoyed in the suburbs. That sort of argument should be no less unimaginable in the Second Amendment context.

UPDATE: David Kopel summarizes:

The Seventh Circuit’s decision in Ezell v. Chicago is a tremendously important case for Second Amendment doctrine. The key rules from Ezell: use originalism from both 1791 and 1868 to determine if an activity is within the scope of the Second Amendment right. If it is, apply First Amendment doctrine, and make the standard of review more stringent when the activity is closer to the core of the right, and when the government is prohibiting rather than regulating. Generally speaking, when looking for guidance, look to Eugene Volokh.

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