"Congress has continued to debate the efficacy and constitutionality of further federal regulation of firearms and ammunition. Although several dozen gun control proposals were introduced in recent Congresses, only a handful of those bills have received significant legislative action. On June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court issued its decision in 'District of Columbia v. Heller' and found that the District of Columbia (DC) handgun ban violated an individual's right under the Second Amendment to possess lawfully a handgun in his home for self-defense. On June 28, 2010, the Supreme Court issued a related decision in 'McDonald v. City of Chicago' and found that an individual's right to possess lawfully a firearm for the purposes of self defense under the Second Amendment applied to the states by way of the Fourteenth Amendment. Although the decision arguably limits a state, city, or local government's ability to prohibit handguns outright, it does not precisely delineate what would constitute permissible gun control laws under the Second Amendment. Consequently, these delineations will likely be developed in future cases."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32842