Monday, June 28, 2010

Supreme Court extends gun rights in Chicago case

The US Supreme Court has ruled on Chicago's gun ban!
The Supreme Court reversed a ruling upholding Chicago's ban today and extended the reach of the 2nd Amendment as a nationwide protection against laws that infringe the "right to keep and bear arms."

The 5-4 decision appears to void the 1982 ordinance, one of the nation's strictest, which barred city residents from having handguns for their own use, even at home.

Gun-rights advocates have been closely following the Chicago case. They said a victory for the 2nd Amendment would clear the way for constitutional challenges to restrictions on firearms to be heard in federal courts nationwide.

The ruling against Chicago's ban had been widely anticipated.

The City Council could consider new gun-control measures as soon as Wednesday, Mayor Richard Daley said last week.
I would like to refer you to Ald. Lyle's comments in a post from the weekend on a related matter:
Regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court's deliberations, there will be limits on handgun ownership in Chicago. As to the right to carry a concealed weapon, that debate will continue for some time.
Well, I'm OK with limits on handgun ownership, but let there be a debate on concealed carry in this city. Not sold on it necessarily, but it's something we will have to decide at some point.

UPDATE 11:50 AM Perhaps a hint of what the city has in mind in response to this Supreme Court ruling:
As a result of this morning’s expected ruling, the Police Committee of the Chicago City Council began meeting at 10:30 a.m. to consider a replacement ordinance introduced directly to the committee by Mayor Daley. The meeting was soon adjourned until Tuesday, though, with committee chairman Anthony Beale (9th) saying he needed time to review the more than 100-page Supreme Court ruling.

Chicago gun owners could be required to take a training course, register their firearms, allow police to perform ballistics tests and even purchase liability insurance.

Daley hasn’t tipped his hand on all of the specifics as he awaited the court ruling. But he has said to protect first-responders, he’s prepared to go above and beyond the replacement model crafted by Washington D.C. after its handgun ban bit the dust.
...
As a result of this morning’s expected ruling, the Police Committee of the Chicago City Council began meeting at 10:30 a.m. to consider a replacement ordinance introduced directly to the committee by Mayor Daley. The meeting was soon adjourned until Tuesday, though, with committee chairman Anthony Beale (9th) saying he needed time to review the more than 100-page Supreme Court ruling.

Chicago gun owners could be required to take a training course, register their firearms, allow police to perform ballistics tests and even purchase liability insurance.

Daley hasn’t tipped his hand on all of the specifics as he awaited the court ruling. But he has said to protect first-responders, he’s prepared to go above and beyond the replacement model crafted by Washington D.C. after its handgun ban bit the dust.
When Ald. Howard Brookins ran for State's Attorney last year he was on record (that record being Public Affairs with Jeff Berkowitz) as saying he believes responsible people should be allowed to own guns. One of his opponents in that Democratic Primary Ald. Tom Allen is quoted in this article as saying the gun ban was largely ineffective:
Northwest Side Ald. Tom Allen (38th) said the ban has done nothing to stop the bloodbath on Chicago streets as evidenced by the 26 people shot this weekend.

Asked whether Chicago would be more or less safe without the ban, he said, “It’s a wash. The bad guys are gonna have their guns and the good people who are responsible citizens — they will also have their guns. But they’ll do it in a responsible way in their home to protect their family or in their place of business to protect them from armed robbers.”

Daley has talked about requiring gun owners to take a training course, register their firearms, allow police to perform ballistics tests and even purchase liability insurance.

But Allen said there’s no guarantee that those measures will be any more effective than the ban itself, which was roundly ignored.

“We can make some legislation. We can add insurance as a component. And I’m hoping they will comply better than they do with mandatory auto insurance. Because one out of three people on the street doesn’t have insurance,” he said.
And of all people Ald. Ed Burke has this to say about the gun ban!
Chicago’s 1982 handgun freeze — and a companion requirement that existing gun owners re-register their weapons every year — have been likened to Prohibition and denounced as a widely ignored charade.

Last week, Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) acknowledged as much.

“There’s widespread disobedience of the law. There’s widespread flaunting of the law by people who strongly believe that they should have a weapon in their house,” Burke said.

“Just in the last 60 days, we’ve seen three instances where law-abiding citizens who had possession of a weapon in their home shot and/or killed violent offenders in their home or in the vicinity of their home. It’s noteworthy that no one has prosecuted those law-abiding citizens. Probably, we oughta pass a city ordinance and give ‘em each a medal.”

In that sense, Burke argued that a city registration implemented to replace the ban might be an improvement.

“Nobody can register it, so the city doesn’t know. Is it not better that the city knows who has a gun?” the alderman said.
Hmmmm, I wonder how many more people on the City Council are thinking exactly the way Burke and Allen are thinking. I hope they may offer alternate legislation.

Via Capitol Fax!

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