City officials said the law is designed to reduce gun violence, noting that four out of every five homicides this year were committed with a gun.
Let me offer up a little elementary analysis here. If you've had a ban on handguns for 31 years and you still have high levels of gun violence then obviously your ban is not working - this is simply not debatable. So why do these bans not work? Call it the theory of legislative physics:
Laws are only good at controlling the behavior of law-abiding citizens
Those that choose to murder people with handguns are not law-abiding citizens and thus they could care less that the city has a ban on handguns. It's like a Pink Floyd concert venue telling people that marijuana is banned - it just doesn't matter.
The debate hinges on whether or not the 2nd amendment is an individual or collective right. The Department of Justice has put together a thorough legal memo in response to this question and those that are interested can read it here. However, I took out one passage that I think effectively argues against the ridiculous notion of "collective rights" and is worth reading if you want to understand the DOJ position:
The Second Amendment’s recognition of a “right” that belongs to “the people” indicates a right of individuals. The word “right,” standing by itself in the Constitution, is clear. Although in some contexts entities other than individuals are said to have “rights,”37 the Constitution itself does not use the word “right” in this manner. Setting aside the Second Amendment, not once does the Constitution confer a “right” on any governmental entity, state or federal. Nor does it confer any “right” restricted to persons in governmental service, such as members of an organized military unit. In addition to its various references to a “right of the people” discussed below, the Constitution in the Sixth Amendment secures “right[s]” to an accused person, and in the Seventh secures a person’s “right” to a jury trial in civil cases.38 By contrast, governments, whether state or federal, have in the Constitution only “powers” or “authority.”39 It would be a marked anomaly if “right” in the Second Amendment departed from such uniform usage throughout the Constitution.
In any event, any possible doubt vanishes when “right” is conjoined with “the people,” as it is in the Second Amendment. Such a right belongs to individuals: The “people” are not a “State,” nor are they identical with the “Militia.” Indeed, the Second Amendment distinctly uses all three of these terms, yet it secures a “right” only to the “people.” The phrase “the right of the people” appears two other times in the Bill of Rights, and both times refers to a personal right, which belongs to individuals. The First Amendment secures “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” and the Fourth safeguards “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” In addition, the Ninth Amendment refers to “rights . . . retained by the people.” We see no reason to read the phrase in the Second Amendment to mean something other than what it plainly means in these neighboring and contemporaneous amendments.