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102 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 471 (2012)
The Responsible Gun Ownership Ordinance and Novel Textual Questions about the Second Amendment

handle is hein.journals/jclc102 and id is 491 raw text is: 0091-4169/12/10202-0471
THE JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW & CRIMINOLOGY                     Vol. 102, No. 2
Copyright @ 2012 by Northwestern University School of Law    Printed in US.A.
Owen McGovern*
Although gun ownership is a fundamental right under the Second
Amendment of the Constitution,' it is subject to reasonable restrictions.2
The City of Chicago's most recent attempt to define the contours of those
restrictions raises serious textual questions about the meaning of the
Second Amendment. This Comment will evaluate various provisions of
Chicago's new firearm ordinance and conclude (1) that it is likely
unconstitutional and (2) that future gun-control regulations will only be
upheld if they respect the full understanding of the contours of the Second
Amendment adopted in Heller, rather than merely satisfying its narrow
In the wake of District of Columbia v. Heller3 and McDonald v. City of
Chicago,4 the City of Chicago promptly amended the Responsible Gun
Ownership Ordinance (the Ordinance) to further its interest in protecting the
public welfare and safety.5 The Ordinance immediately generated federal
J.D., Northwestern University School of Law, 2012.
I McDonald v. City of Chicago, 130 S. Ct. 3020, 3042 (2010).
2 District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 626-27 (2008) (listing reasonable
restrictions, such as longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and
the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as
schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the
commercial sale of arms).
554 U.S. 570.
4 130 S. Ct. 3020.
Chi., Ill., Responsible Gun Ownership Ordinance (July 2, 2010) (codified in scattered
sections of CHI., ILL., MUN. CODE (2010)).


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