I was interviewed by Amanda Carey for an article in the Daily Caller about the constitutionality of Chicago’s new gun control laws following McDonald v. Chicago. Here’s what I had to say:
The new ordinance is already expected to undergo a slew of legal challenges. But city officials do not seem worried. In his press conference, Daley said the new ordinance does indeed respect the 2nd Amendment and the rights of the people under the Constitution.
Others say not so fast. Josh Blackman, a constitutional and legal scholar who has published several articles on the McDonald case told The Daily Caller that while the ordinances are actually “pretty moderate,” a few of the provisions are questionable. When it comes to being able to carry a firearm beyond the home, Blackman says any challenge to that likely won’t hold up in court.
Similarly, the restriction of one firearm a month, according to Blackman, is fairly common. The fees, however, are another thing. “The fees for this can get to be quite high,” said Blackman. “Then it’s more like a tax, which becomes a tax on a constitutional right. That’s egregious.” Blackman also called the ban on gun shops extreme. “A flat-out ban is constitutionally suspect,” he said.
But what happened in Chicago with this new ordinance is similar to what happened in Washington, DC after the Heller decision in 2008, explained Blackman. “They [city officials] read the opinion and figure out ‘how much can we do without crossing the line?’. We’ll have to see how it works in practice, but without a doubt, a number of challenges will be filed,” Blackman said.
And we shall see what happens with these laws.
Update: Eugene Volokh has a great post about the constitutionality of fees, and whether they amount to an unconstitutional tax on a constitutional right.