In one of the biggest cases to come before the Supreme Court in years, justices are hearing arguments today in McDonald v. Chicago over the city’s 28-year-old handgun ban. It has also prompted both proponents and opponents of the ban to once again voice their cases.
The court’s role will be to decide two fundamental questions, namely whether strict state and local gun control laws violate the Second Amendment rights and whether an individual’s right to own a weapon extends beyond federal jurisdiction, according to CNN.
Community activist Otis McDonald is the key plaintiff in the case, arguing that the ban should be overturned.
"We are in a war," he told the news provider, adding that the case is about "the innocent law-abiding citizens against the drug dealers and gang bangers."
However, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV) says that ruling against the ban would result in more gun suicides, homicides and unintentional shootings.
"The court must not ignore the longstanding and robust history of effective gun laws in this country for purely political or ideological reasons," said Thom Mannard, executive director of ICHV. He added that the case was "completely manufactured" by the gun lobby in order to dismantle America’s gun laws for their own profit.
The ICHV also cited polls that suggest an overwhelming majority of NRA members and gun owners nationwide favor common sense gun laws.
Meanwhile, critics point out that although Chicago’s ban is one of the most restrictive in the U.S., the city continues to be among the most violent in the nation.