A United States Supreme Court ruling today that threw out a District of Columbia gun ban as unconstitutional may also affect Evanston’s gun control ordinance.

The District of Columbia ban, regarded as one of the strictest in the nation, made it practically impossible for an individual to legally possess a handgun in the district and required that rifles and shotguns be rendered essentially inoperable by trigger locks or disassembly.

The court said the law was unconstitutional because it rendered the weapons useless for self-defense.

Evanston’s ordinance, Chapter 8 of Title 9 of the city code, makes possession of any handgun illegal, unless the gun has been rendered permanently inoperative. But it only bars the firing of rifles and shotguns.

The Evanston ordinance also makes exceptions for police and security guards, on-duty members of the armed forces, licensed gun collectors and persons who own antique handguns.

The Supreme Court ruling said that the right to possess a gun is not unlimited — and that bans on concealed weapons or possession of weapons by felons would not be disturbed by the decision.

Related stories

Justices rule for individual gun rights – New York Times

Few gun laws threatened by U.S. Supreme Court ruling – International Herald Tribune

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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