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U.S. Supreme Court to take on battle over gun rights

The U.S. Supreme Court is about to take dead aim at the fierce debate over gun regulations in cities and states across the country, with California’s strict gun-control laws squarely in the cross hairs of the legal showdown.

The justices on Tuesday will hear arguments in a challenge to a Chicago area ban on handguns and semiautomatic weapons, weighing for the first time whether the Second Amendment right to bear arms applies to local and state gun regulations. For a state such as California, which has long been a target of gun rights advocates for a slew of firearms regulations, a Supreme Court ruling extending Second Amendment protections to cities and states could open the floodgates to a new generation of lawsuits.

Legal experts say the fallout from the Chicago case will depend on how far the justices go in their decision. In the 2008 ruling, the 5-4 majority, led by Justice Antonin Scalia, did make clear that certain areas of gun regulation were “presumptively valid” for government, such as firearm sales.

“I think there will be questions about specific regulations and whether they fall out of those categories,” said Sayre Weaver, one of the lawyers defending Alameda County’s ordinance. – [source]

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