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Ban on handgun sales in Chicago ruled unconstitutional


This news story was published on January 8, 2014.
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gunCHICAGO – A federal judge has declared Chicago’s ban on handgun sales and transfers unconstitutional.

Chicago has had the ban in place since 2010 as murders due to gun violence number in the hundreds each year, with thousands more injured and maimed.

According to the ruling by Judge Edmond E. Chang:

Three Chicago residents and an association of Illinois firearms dealers brought suit against the City of Chicago (Mayor Rahm Emanuel is sued in his official capacity, which is the same as suing the City), challenging the constitutionality of City ordinances that ban virtually all sales and transfers of firearms inside the City’s limits The ban covers federally licensed firearms dealers; even validly licensed dealers cannot sell firearms in Chicago. The ban covers gifts amongst family members; only through inheritance can someone transfer a firearm to a family member. Chicago does all this in the name of reducing gun violence. That is one of the fundamental duties of government: to protect its citizens. The stark reality facing the City each year is thousands of shooting victims and hundreds of murders committed with a gun. But on the other side of this case is another feature of government: certain fundamental rights are protected by the Constitution put outside government’s reach, including the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense under the Second Amendment. This right must also include the right to acquire a firearm, although that acquisition right is far from absolute: there are many long-standing restrictions on who may acquire firearms (for examples, felons and the mentally ill have long been banned) and there are many restrictions on the sales of arms (for example, licensing requirements for commercial sales). But Chicago’s ordinance goes too far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions and lawful sales of firearms, and at the same time the evidence does not support that the complete ban sufficiently furthers the purposes that the ordinance tries to serve. For the specific reasons explained later in this opinion, the ordinances are declared unconstitutional.

The ruling was temporarily delayed to allow the city time to decide if it will appeal.

Judge Chang was appointed by President Obama, a strong supported of gun laws, who himself has put in place over 20 executive actions in an attempt to curb gun violence.  

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7 Responses to Ban on handgun sales in Chicago ruled unconstitutional

  1. Allen

    Allen Reply Report comment

    January 9, 2014 at 8:31 am

    I have to agree with Judge Chang, the ban is unconstitutional, how can a lowly mayor go against the constitution. What if, the mayor of mason city, approved by the city council of course, placed a ban on all alcohol sales after 5:00PM. Prohibition at it’s finest.

    Maybe (lol) there was no such thing as felons or mentally ill people when the constitution was signed. So somewhere along the line somebody with some intelligence, I use that word loosely, said, hey, we can’t let felons or the mentally ill legally acquire handguns, because they might use them illegally. Regardless if that ban/law is right or wrong, it’s not working, so lets just ban all handgun sales because that will work. So has gun violence in chicago went down since 2010.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 9, 2014 at 10:34 am

      Have you ever heard of a dry county? They exist. Also, the constitution doesn’t give you the right to booze.

      • Avatar

        Allen Reply Report comment

        January 9, 2014 at 3:26 pm

        Yes, you are right, there are dry counties, and why is that?? I guess I was comparing MGD with BV, but it all ferments down to the same thing, taking away a persons right, be it alcohol, guns, felons or mentally ill.

  2. Avatar

    Philosophus Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    These long standing restrictions against “felons and the mentally ill” are actually unconstitutional. It’s amazing how these exclusions have been able to slide by for all these years. It proves that humans pick and choose things to their liking. After seeing this typed out in such a way, I believe it’s time to actually go all the way and challenge the current bans against felons and the mentally ill. No where does it say in the Constitution “…except felons or the mentally ill”.

    • Avatar

      The Ghost of Charlton Heston Reply Report comment

      January 9, 2014 at 8:09 am

      You make me want to tape loaded guns to apes hands and feet and set them loose in your moms house and claim that it’s my constitutional right. Guns don’t kill people, crazy people with guns kill people (sometimes they use knives too).

      • Avatar

        Philosophus Reply Report comment

        January 9, 2014 at 10:49 am

        That’s funny. Except your point is ill-made. My point is that I don’t believe the 2nd Amendment can really be infringed upon by adding these exceptions against felons and the mentally ill, which aren’t found in the original text:

        A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

        Anyone can add anything then to exclude or include as they see fit to any amendment in the Constitution. I would say that if you want to exclude felons and the mentally ill, you should need to actually amend the Constitution itself to say as such…which of course I’m against.

        The only criteria for excluding someone from a firearm is a bona fide and active history of violence. That’s it. no other reason should exist for denying someone the right to keep and bear arms.

        • Avatar

          LVS Reply Report comment

          January 9, 2014 at 11:46 am

          @Philly-I tend to agree with you somewhat here. There are different degrees of mental illness and I don’t think they should be all lumped together. However, if you really want it screwed up just let the government get involved. The same thing goes for felons. There are different types of felony’s. Non violent ones should be treated differently than the violent ones.