Federal Judge Rules Chicago Gun Ban Unconstitutional

By:  Bob Adelmann
Federal Judge Rules Chicago Gun Ban Unconstitutional

An Obama-appointed federal judge ruled Monday that Chicago's ban on almost all sales and transfers of firearms is unconstitutional.

Following U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang’s ruling on Monday against Chicago's gun control legislation, the response by National Rifle Association (NRA) spokesman Todd Vandermyde was predictable. The fact that a federal judge appointed by President Obama “ruled in favor of the Second Amendment shows how out of step and outrageous Chicago’s ordinances really are,” said Vandermyde.

What Vandermyde was celebrating was the dismantling of the last piece of the law Chicago’s City Council enacted just days after the Supreme Court’s ruling in McDonald v. the City of Chicago back in June 2010. That Chicago law reflected the City Council’s disgust with Supreme Court ruling. At the time Alderman Daniel Solis said, “The decision made by the Supreme Court is not really in the best interests of our citizens,” while Alderman Sharon Dixon called the Supreme Court’s decision a “blatant ... misreading of the law.”

So they enacted one of the most draconian gun control laws in the city’s history, allowing ownership permits to be issued but only on the condition that applicants take training at shooting ranges, many of which were conveniently banned. The law required the registration of every gun owner, five hours of training, penalties for transporting legally owned firearms (the penalty included confiscation of the vehicle), possession of a firearm only inside the four corners of the owner’s residence (not including a patio or a garage), trigger locks on guns while possessed at home, a ban on laser sights, and a ban on the use of real firearms on a stage or movie set.

Further, the ban prohibited the purchase or sale of firearms inside the city limits, as well as the transfer of firearms from one family member to another, except through inheritance.

Within days the NRA filed suit against the city — Benson v. City of Chicago — to enforce the Supreme Court’s decision, and over time, one by one, each of those restrictions was erased. One of the last occurred in September when the city council was forced to rewrite its law to conform with one passed by the Illinois State Legislature regarding the carrying of concealed weapons in the city. At that time NRA spokesman Vandermyde also rejoiced:

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