Law and disorder: Morton Grove and the community control of handguns

Andrew Kirby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The paper operates on two different but related levels. As its empirical focus it takes the recent shift in the terrain of conflict over handgun control. Following the lead of Morton Grove, Illinois, a number of communities have taken the initiative in banning handguns within their jurisdiction. This has prompted a response at the State level to standardize controls and limit local communities' abilities to regulate the quality of life. The role of the National Rifle Association, which has funded various legislative efforts, is explored. At a more general level, these contests are interpreted via state theory; local ordinances may constitute a tension within the state apparatus, and they make the locality consequently vulnerable to attempts by the state to impose uniformity upon the juridical system. The paper concludes by uniting the empirical and discursive themes, and provides an assessment of the implications of these cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-487
Number of pages14
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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