After losing in the Supreme Court on a 28-year-old handgun ban in 2010, and losing again last week on a partial gun ban, Chicago politicians — heeding the immortal words of Aaliyah — have decided to dust themselves off and try again, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
On the one hand, you have to admire the resilience. Perhaps the third attempt at skirting the Second Amendment will prove to be a charm. On the other hand, they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over, and over, and over again, all the while expecting differing results.
The most-recently defeated provision banned those convicted of “unlawful use of a weapon” from ever getting a city gun permit, regardless of the severity of the offense, reports the Chicago Tribune. The named plaintiff in the case had previously been convicted of a misdemeanor offense of possessing a gun on a public street.
The problem with the law was that it did not define “unlawful use of a weapon.” It could be anything from simple possession of a weapon on your front porch, (which is currently not allowed) to shooting someone in the forehead. The lack of distinction concerned U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, who decided:
“The same Constitution that protects people’s right to bear arms prohibits this type of indiscriminate and arbitrary governmental regulation … It is the opinion of this court that any attempt to dilute or restrict a core constitutional right with justifications that do not have a basis in history and tradition is inherently suspect.”
It should also be noted that, according to the Tribune, Chicago currently does not allow gun owners to have their guns in their yards or on their front porches. Retail gun stores have also been banned. Challenges to these restrictions are currently being fought in court.
The new version of the overturned law will be similar to the one overturned, reports the Sun-Times. The major difference will be that those with misdemeanor convictions are only barred from receiving a gun permit for five years. Felony convictions will result in a permanent ban.
The war on guns has also continued in the form of gun buyback programs; a buyback on Saturday resulted in 5,500 weapons being traded in for gift cards, reports the Sun-Times. Everything from “military-grade machine guns” to BB guns were turned in, including “a killer” .22 caliber North American Arms pistol. That “killer” peashooter was in such bad condition that they couldn’t even dislodge the bullets from the gun with a hammer.
The streets feel safer already.
- Speak to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney (FindLaw)
- Gun Rights: USSC Extends Heller Decision to States (FindLaw’s Decided Blog)
- Heller Challenge Redux: New DC Gun Law Stands (FindLaw’s D.C. Circuit Blog)
- District of Columbia v. Heller (FindLaw’s LawBrain)