In San Francisco and Chicago, a powerful gun lobby group in the United States has filed legal challenges to handgun bans.
A day before the lawsuits come, the US Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to ban the private possession of handguns in Washington DC.
The cases were necessary to expand the ruling to other states and cities, said a National Rifle Association lawyer.
But San Francisco’s mayor, Gavin Newsom, says he plans to fight the NRA challenge.
In Chicago, the lawsuit challenges a ruling that makes it illegal to possess or sell handguns in the city, while in San Francisco it challenges the city’s handgun ban in public housing.
In the San Francisco suit, the NRA is joined by a gay man. He is living in a government-owned housing development and says he needs a gun in order to protect himself from potential hate crimes.
‘Defend the rights of the housing authority’
The city will “vigorously fight the NRA”, said Gavin Newsom, adding that the ban was good for public safety.
“Is there anyone out there who really believes that we need more guns in public housing? I can’t for the life of me sit back and roll over on this. We will absolutely defend the rights of the housing authority”, Mr Newsom said.
The constitution “protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defence within the home”, says the Supreme Court ruling.
For the first time, the individual right to own guns and limits efforts to reduce their role in American life, is enshrines by the ruling.
“The Supreme Court’s decision was very encouraging, but it is just a start”, said C D Michel, NRA lawyer.