Decided in favor of individual right theory. This case built upon the Heller decision of 2008, which ruled that the federal government (the District of Columbia) did not have the right to restrict handgun ownership. The question in McDonald v. City of Chicago was whether that decision applied to states, as well. Did states have the right to restrict gun ownership? Based on the 14th Amendment (see below), the Court reasoned that rights that are “fundamental to the Nation’s scheme of ordered liberty” or that are “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition” are appropriately applied to the states and that the right to self-defense was one such fundamental and deeply rooted right.
The 14th Amendment: No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.)