A Chicago ordinance that bans gun sales within the city is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled. The decision spells a big win for gun lobbyists in their protracted battle for more firearm rights in Chi-town, home to some of the toughest gun-control laws in the nation. This latest ruling is far from the first blow to Chicago's gun laws but may spur city officials to rethink their gun control strategy.
Here's a rundown of three key gun control changes in Chicago that reveal the Windy City's weakening gun control landscape:
- 2010: The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Chicago's gun ownership ban that was in effect since 1982, concluding that the Second Amendment right of individuals to own guns to extends to state and local, as well as federal, laws. But the Court does not go so far as to detail what kinds of gun control regulations would violate the Second Amendment and what kinds would be permissible.
- 2010: Chicago responds to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision by adopting alternative methods of restricting who can have guns, including obtaining a permit by completing a training course and background check and paying a $100 fee.
- 2012: The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the city's ban on carrying a weapon in public with the Illinois Supreme Court following closely behind, paving the way for residents to legally carry concealed weapons.
Impact of Latest Ruling on Chicagoans
Overturning the ban on retail gun stores and private gun sales was the last major obstacle gun rights groups faced in their long-term struggle to dismantle Chicago's tough gun laws.
Although the judge issued a stay on his decision, the judgment opens the door for licensed gun dealers to operate in the city. It would also make it legal for individuals to transfer ownership of a firearm as a gift or through a private sale as long as the recipient was at least 18 and had a firearm owner's identification card.
Rife with legal challenges, the city's current plan may soon change dramatically. City officials will likely turn their focus to heavy regulations that fall short of wholesale bans.
- Federal Judge: Ban on Gun Sales Unconstitutional (The Associated Press)
- Man Gets Life for Killing Gun Collector to Get Guns (FindLaw's Chicago Criminal Law Blog)
- Illinois House Passes Bill Keeping Gun Owners' Names Private (FindLaw's Chicago Criminal Law Blog)
- Talk To A Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer (FindLaw)