Straight Shootin’: Ordinance vs. ordnance, Chicago style
By Eric R. Sonnenberg
Monday, June 28, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) released their decision on McDonald v. Chicago, siding with McDonald and against Chicago’s ban on handgun ownership. Their decision said the Second Amendment’s “right to keep and bear arms and that right shall not be infringed” applies equally to the federal government and at the state and municipal level. It expanded on the court’s ruling in Heller v. Washington, D.C., two years ago, allowing residents there to own a handgun. This decision was expected, as was Chicago’s almost immediate response.
Four days later, Friday, July 2, the Chicago City Council unanimously approved what they call the strictest handgun ordinance in the country. They were prepared to act fast because they knew the SCOTUS ruling would go against them because they knew their handgun ban was blatantly unconstitutional. This new ordinance:
→ Bans gun shops in the city of Chicago.
→ Prohibits gun owners from stepping outside their homes, even onto their porches or garages, with a handgun.
→ Limits the number of handguns a resident can register to one per month and prohibits residents from having more than one handgun in operating order at any given time.
→ Requires residents with children to keep handguns in lock boxes or equipped with trigger locks.
→ Requires residents convicted of a gun offense to register with the police.
→ Requires prospective gun owners to be fingerprinted and to take a four-hour class and one-hour training at a gun range, even though they will not allow that training to take place in Chicago.
→ Calls for the police department to maintain a registry of every registered handgun owner in the city.
→ Those who have handguns, illegal under the ban, would have 90 days from the day the ordinance is enacted to register those weapons.
Residents convicted of violating the ordinance face a fine of up to $5,000 and could be locked up for as long as 90 days for the first offense, and a fine of up to $10,000 and as long as six months behind bars for subsequent convictions.
How can anyone with a sliver of common sense believe all this will not infringe on our right to keep and bear arms? This is a blatant attempt by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (D) and his bootlicking and misguided city council to trample on our civil rights, ignore the Constitution of the United States, and subvert the ruling of the Supreme Court. If Daley and his henchmen spent half the time and trouble apprehending and severely punishing criminals who use a firearm as they do taking away our rights, we would be a lot better off. Banning gun shops in Chicago unfairly limits lawful commerce and effectively prohibits local residents from buying a gun when it is clearly legal for them to do so.
You knew Daley was going to throw every restriction and regulation at this ruling that he thinks he can get away with. He figures the more crappola he can hurl at his wall of obstruction, the more likely something may stick, and the longer it will take to scrape off. He will get away with it for a while because the law-abiding citizens of Chicago will do anything they have to do to protect themselves the best they can. These restrictions and regulations will not stand the test of time, however, and will certainly be challenged by gun rights advocates. Make no mistake, this ruling was a win for the good guys, but it will take a long time to shake out because the legal wrangling has just begun.
It is obvious criminals don’t give a hoot about these restrictions and regulations, so criminal activity and gun violence will not be reduced much. What will happen is an increase of instances where people will be able to protect themselves from criminal activity and gun violence, so that will be the only thing that may reduce crime. With this ruling, the innocent have at least been given a fighting chance to defend themselves. I know they will take that chance because, since about 9 a.m., June 28, my phone has been ringing off the hook from Chicago residents who have been waiting for 28 years to buy a gun so they can protect themselves.
Eric R. Sonnenberg is a Federal Firearms Licensed gun dealer who owns Forest City Firearms, 137 N. Chicago Ave., Rockford or online at www.forestcityfirearms.com. He can be reached at (815) 262-4279 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the July 7-13, 2010 issue
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