By Alan Gottlieb
Whatever spin Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and the city council wish to offer, it is their stubborn arrogance that has resulted in more gun rights lawsuits filed against the city following the Supreme Court’s June 28 ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago that essentially nullified the city’s 28-year handgun ban.
The McDonald case – brought by the Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association with four Chicago residents – resulted in a landmark ruling that incorporated the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms to the states via the 14th Amendment. SAF and ISRA have now been joined by Action Target, Inc., and two local residents, Rhonda Ezell and Joseph I. Brown to challenge the city’s new gun ordinance, which appears to have been written to purposely provoke more lawsuits.
The city’s childish stubbornness is going to cost taxpayers a small fortune. Mayor Daley and his anti-gun city council adopted what amounts to a “tantrum ordinance” that essentially spits in the high court’s face. Sure, the city adopted an ordinance that – at least on paper – allows Chicago residents to own a handgun, but in reality, it is one huge “Catch 22” that was deliberately crafted to discourage residents from exercising their Second Amendment rights.
The city’s handgun law requires prospective gun owners to undergo training, including at least one hour of actual time on a gun range. However, the ordinance prohibits the operation of gun stores and ranges inside city limits. Additionally, the city requires would-be Chicago gun owners to first obtain a Chicago Firearms Permit (CFP), and an application for that document requires an affidavit signed by a firearm instructor certified by the State of Illinois.
Instructors cannot teach those courses anywhere inside the city because there is no place to conduct that training.
Earlier, the Illinois Association of Firearms retailers and a north suburban gun shop operator sued the city over this ordinance. Now, SAF, ISRA and ATI have brought legal action. Action Target is a Delaware-based company that designs and builds gun ranges, including one in Chicago, in the Federal Reserve Bank building, for use by law enforcement. The company wants to build a gun range in the city for private citizens, but the city’s ordinance makes that impossible.
This sort of thing may be “politics as usual” in the Windy City, but it does not pass the smell test anywhere else. It sends a signal that Chicago authorities believe they are above the Constitution and the rule of law as defined by the Supreme Court. It’s the kind of attitude one sees in a schoolyard bully, suggesting that Mayor Daley and his council cronies are in desperate need of adult supervision.
Perhaps when Mayor Daley was a child, he became accustomed to taking his ball and going home when things did not go his way on the playfield. Since he evidently has never grown up, he believes this conduct is still acceptable in an adult world. The citizens of Chicago have tolerated his juvenile delinquency but that doesn’t mean the rest of the country needs to.
Chicago’s ridiculous gun law is proof positive that the city administration does not take the Supreme Court ruling seriously. The time has come to change that, and that will require the federal courts to spank the city again, since nothing else seems to get the city’s attention.
Alan Gottlieb is founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, and co-author of “These Dogs Don’t Hunt: The Democrats’ War on Guns.”