McDonald v. City of Chicago Case Brief

Facts of the case

Several suits were filed against Chicago and Oak Park in Illinois challenging their gun bans after the Supreme Court issued its opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller . In that case, the Supreme Court held that a District of Columbia handgun ban violated the Second Amendment. There, the Court reasoned that the law in question was enacted under the authority of the federal government and, thus, the Second Amendment was applicable. Here, plaintiffs argued that the Second Amendment should also apply to the states. The district court dismissed the suits. On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed.


The Court held that the Second Amendment protected the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense and that the Second Amendment was fully applicable to the states. Self-defense was a basic right and was the central component of the Second Amendment right, and the Court had recognized that the Second Amendment right applied to handguns, which were the preferred firearm to keep and use for protection of one’s home and family.

  • Advocates: Alan Gura for the petitioners Paul D. Clement for respondents National Rifle Association et al. in support of the petitioners James A. Feldman for the respondents
  • Petitioner: Otis McDonald, et al.
  • Respondent: City of Chicago
  • DECIDED BY:Roberts Court
  • Location: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Citation: 561 US 742 (2010)
Granted: Sep 30, 2009
Argued: Mar 2, 2010
Decided: Jun 28, 2010
McDonald v. City of Chicago Case Brief