Chicago's New Gun-Control Regime Challenged in Court

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Just four days after the Supreme Court essentially struck down the City of Chicago’s draconian handgun ban as unconstitutional, the City Council unanimously approved a tough new gun-control regime – the strictest in the nation, actually. The new rules went into effect on July 12. But they are already being challenged in court.

The “Responsible Gun Ownership Ordinance,” introduced by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, purports to require city-issued “permits,” registration, and special training for residents who wish to own guns. It will also limit the number of handguns eligible residents may purchase to one per month.

Under the new rules, only one operable weapon per household is allowed. Handguns are forbidden outside of the home (including in garages, back yards, or on porches) and must be transported broken down and in a case. They cannot be sold within city limits, and only a list of “safe” guns drawn up by the police superintendent will be permitted.

Aldermen (city councilors) generally agreed with the Mayor’s anti-gun crusade, as evidenced by the 45–0 vote in favor of the new set of rules. Many Aldermen quoted in media reports expressed outrage that the High Court struck down the city’s ban in the recent 5–4 McDonald v. City of Chicago ruling.

Those favoring strict control measures like Chicago’s claim that gun ownership leads to increases in crime. Empirical evidence suggests the opposite is true. After the Supreme Court struck down Washington, D.C.’s draconian gun rules in 2008, the city experienced a 30-percent decrease in murder rates, explained John Lott, Jr., author of More Guns, Less Crime and one of the world’s foremost experts on the relationship between guns, gun control, and crime.

Because of the new restrictive rules, “I assume that relatively few people are going to register handguns in Chicago and as such I think that the change in the law will have a relatively small impact on crime rates,” Lott told The New American. “The regulations go as far towards banning guns as Chicago thinks that they can go,” he said, adding that the rules will disarm the poorest citizens, “who are most likely to be victims of crime.”

But at least two major lawsuits against the city’s new ordinance are already in progress, and more are anticipated in the near future. Joe Franzese, for example, owner of Second Amendment Arms in nearby Lake Villa, filed suit because he wants to open as many as five gun shops in Chicago. But the ordinance prohibits it. “I want to sell a legal product and you can’t outlaw a legal product,” he told the Libertyville Review.

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