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Monday, June 28, 2010 - 6:44am

Gun Rights Uphled By Nation's High Court

Updated: 4 years ago.
Georgia gun rights activists will watch an expected U.S. Supreme Court ruling today, it could open the door for lawsuits to challenge state gun laws. (photo courtesy aconaway1 through Flickr)

The U.S. Supreme Court has come down on the side of gun rights, ruling today that the Second Amendment restrains the government's ability to significantly limit "the right to keep and bear arms."

In a 5-4 vote, the justices also signaled that less severe restrictions could survive legal challenges.

In a case involving restrictive laws in Chicago and one of its suburbs, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the Second Amendment right "applies equally to the federal government and the states."

Today's decision orders a federal appeals court to reconsider its ruling upholding the laws. But it left little doubt that the laws would eventually fall.

Georgia gun rights activists had been closely watching this case, as it could open the door for lawsuits to challenge state gun laws.

Republican State Representative Tim Bearden has been pushing to expand the number of places where gun owners can carry their weapons. He says a lawsuit over a ban on guns in Georgia churches would be likely.

“I think churches is probably the first you will see. That is probably the easiest challenge because of the separation of church and state.”

Earlier this year state lawmakers decided to allow guns in bars where alcohol is served if the owner says it’s o.k.

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Associated Press

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