Gun ownership rights are in a constant state of flux. The Second Amendment guarantees the right to “keep and bear arms,” but the application of this seemingly obvious protection is not so simple. In a case the Supreme Court decided in 2010, residents of Chicago challenged city laws banning handgun possession. Homeowners there had been victims of an extremely high burglary rate yet were unable to use guns to defend themselves. The citizens sued the city of Chicago and it went all the way to the Supreme Court in McDonald v. Chicago. In a split decision, the court ruled that citizens have a fundamental right to possess handguns for self-defense. However, states are still permitted to regulate the commercial sale of firearms, whether felons or the mentally ill can possess firearms, and whether firearms may be permitted in sensitive areas such as schools or government buildings. Since gun rights vary by municipality, it is important to know and understand your jurisdiction’s limitations and protections. Consult your local ordinances or legal professional for more information regarding your gun rights.