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United States Politics

Federal Judge Rules Chicago's Ban On Licensed Gun Dealers Unconstitutional 934

wooferhound writes with news that a federal judge has overturned part of Chicago's firearm laws. From CNN: "A federal judge ruled Monday that Chicago's ban on virtually all sales and transfers of firearms is unconstitutional. '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,' wrote U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang." The Chicago Tribune notes: "The ruling also would make it legal for individuals to transfer ownership of a firearm as a gift or through a private sale as long as the recipient was at least 18 and had a firearm owner's identification card." The ruling doesn't change anything yet: the ruling's effect was delayed to give the city time to appeal.
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Federal Judge Rules Chicago's Ban On Licensed Gun Dealers Unconstitutional

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  • by RocketRabbit (830691) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:44PM (#45889091)

    It seems that firearm ownership rights are the only Constitutional issue that this Supreme Court intends on correctly dealing with. At least it's a start - our other rights emanate from the 2nd Amendment.

  • News for nerds?? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:45PM (#45889115)

    Why is this on slashdot?
    This is a not a gun blog.

  • by DaHat (247651) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:49PM (#45889171) Homepage

    So you think the only way someone can kill you is with a gun? Must be pretty nice to live in your kind of sheltered world.

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:56PM (#45889277)

    Another study just came out showing that increased gun ownership actually lowers the murder rate and lower gun ownership does the opposite. We have multiple points of confirmation and there are a few skeptical politicians that are starting to come around.

    The old truism is confirmed. Outlaw guns and only the outlaws will have them.

    Does Chicago have a violence problem? Yes. Gun bans are not the solution.

  • Wrong target (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jklovanc (1603149) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:57PM (#45889287)

    Laws like this target gun owners who follow the law. The problem is that most of the violence is perpetrated by people who could not buy a gun legally anyway. There are some cases of legally owned guns being used illegally but that is not the norm. This law will do nothing to curb the illegal gun trade.

    Local laws like this have little or no effect except moving the legal gun dealers and the jobs out of the jurisdiction. All gun buyers who would normally do business in Chicago will do is drive outside the city and buy their guns. The result will be the same.

    Banning the sale of a legal product that is protected by the constitution will be almost impossible. When a higher court refuses to hear the case the politicians can say "At least we tried". This is a PR stunt as they just want to look like they are doing something even when they know it will not work. What a waste of time and money that could be better used elsewhere.

  • by HornWumpus (783565) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:01PM (#45889337)

    The definition 'well regulated militia' is irrelevant. The right is of 'the people'. If they wanted the right to be of 'the militia' they would have written that. Clearly they knew the word, having just used it.

  • by dbc (135354) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:01PM (#45889339)

    First, yes, let's get this discusson off of slashdot. It is sad when articles on robotics get 60 comments total, and firearms flamewars get to 500 in a few hours. But..

    > no one believes, rationally, that Americans should be allowed to own/operate any kind of weaponry without limit.

    What do you think the founders believed? In the early revolutionary period, the US had no navy. They issued letters of marque to privately owned, armed ships. As in: private individuals owned war ships.

    The consitution has a mechanism to amend it. If you don't like what it says, use that. Letting 9 old timers in black robes try to convince us to collectively believe that it means something other than the plain words on the paper is caustic to the rule of law.

    But yes, the debate should be about where to draw the line today, in the here-and-now. But, please, don't try to tell me "well, this week, this is what these words mean." Becuase I'm not buying it.

  • by Arker (91948) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:05PM (#45889399) Homepage

    Actually, when politicians attempt to regulate technology they do not understand, that's news for nerds. Whether it's firearms or encryption or pen-test software or whatever.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:06PM (#45889415)

    It boggles my mind why people still think gun control will "fix" crime. Crime is a socioeconomic problem. Why is there so much crime? It's not because there are guns. It's because of the way our society, economy and culture are setup. Nothing will change until you address the root underlying causes of crime, and offer people alternatives/programs that they are willing to accept.

  • by troll -1 (956834) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:11PM (#45889489)
    America is not like Europe. If strict gun laws worked then you'd expect Chicago's gun crime to be low instead of among the highest in the nation. All the criminals in Chicago have guns, irrespective of what the law says. The only people affected by these laws are law abiding citizens who may want to protect themselves. Banning guns would make us all safer if you could ban them from everyone, everywhere.
  • by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:12PM (#45889505)
    Let me know next time someone shows up with Congress with a gun demanding the little people get their say because I have literally never seen this happen.

    Guns haven't been necessary to defend rights since the war of independence and even then their necessity was questionable seeing as how you can kill someone without a gun anyway. If you want to say you need a gun to hunt and feed your family, I'm on board with that. You want a gun for other fun sport shooting or just to scare off some crows, I'm with you there too. You want a gun because it'll protect you from the massive complex that is federal government is pissing on your right to free speech... Yeah let me know how you make out when they roll over you with a tank, because they're not afraid of your peashooter and waving a gun in their face just gives them the justification to stomp you out of existence rather than negotiate with you peacefully.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:14PM (#45889531)

    It boggles my mind why people still think gun control will "fix" crime. Crime is a socioeconomic problem. Why is there so much crime? It's not because there are guns. It's because of the way our society, economy and culture are setup. Nothing will change until you address the root underlying causes of crime, and offer people alternatives/programs that they are willing to accept.

    Might also add that most of the crime is in the inner cities, and most of those crimes are committed with guns that are not purchased legally, registered, or anything else of the sort. As if a criminal cares what the 'law says'.

  • by fredprado (2569351) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:15PM (#45889545)
    Crime has a socioeconomic component but it is not solely a socioeconomic factor. Guns help people to exert the right to defend themselves from crime.

    The government cannot, even if it was an efficient machine protect you with any reliability, it is immoral to take from you the right to try and do it yourself.
  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:17PM (#45889571)

    Here is one of them: []

    If you'd like me to link you to summaries or commentary then I can do that though appreciate those will be from blogs and so forth. If you want to read the actual study you'll have to get it from those fellows.

    If you want to save yourself some time, here is a quote:

    ""It was also found that assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level.""

    So there you go. Why are we fighting about this issue?

    The gun people want to keep their guns. Why are the anti gun people fighting them? They say it is to save lives. But that might be a mistake on their part.

    For the sake argument, assuming these laws don't reduce murder, do we still want to ban guns?

    It just seems so needlessly confrontational. Leave people alone. If they want to carry guns let them do so. Does that mean every so often a crazy person will kill some people with such a weapon? Possibly but they're crazy and honestly could probably find something to do their deed. Remember, the 9/11 hijackers killed over 3000 people with a collection of box cutters.

    If you have a will to kill then you really don't need a gun. And I'll be honest... I like the idea of NORMAL non-criminal people that aren't crazy having access to guns. I think that's a good thing. I think society is most secure when the most reasonable people have the trump card on violence.

    My neighbors are mostly good people. If things get crazy the idea of us all popping up with a gun seems like a good check against anarchy.

    Also... zombies can't use guns... so take that zombie uprising. The robot uprising might be more of a problem. After all those bastards can use guns.

  • by mjr167 (2477430) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:25PM (#45889667)
    Gas? Bow and arrow? Slingshot? Bomb? Large boulder falling on your head? The number of ways of killing someone are limited only to your creativity.
  • by fwarren (579763) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:29PM (#45889725) Homepage

    If I recall correctly stat say that the US is #3 in gun deaths in developed countries.. What is funny about that is if you take the 3 cities with the strongest anti Gun laws (Washington DC, New York City, and Chicago) and made them their own country, they would be #4 on the list and the rest of the US would drop down to something like #20 or lower on the list..

    It is not the legal gun owners in these cities murdering each other. The truth is most of these deaths are black on black murders done with illegal guns. As long as we are discouraged from saying this and do not address the real problems in these communities, stronger gun laws won't fix anything.

  • by compro01 (777531) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:30PM (#45889751)

    MADD is a laughable remnant of yesteryear puritanism. They're nothing more than the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in a different dress. Lightner herself left the group not long after it started because they just tilted straight into prohibitionism.

  • by cfalcon (779563) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:32PM (#45889787)

    "An armed society is a polite society" - Robert Heinlein

  • Re:so??? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:41PM (#45889953)

    we all know that the US's gun proliferation is directly correlated to it's staggering gun violence numbers

    Oops, looks like you meant to say "negatively correlated." As gun ownership has been going up in the last few decades, violent crime (including gun crime) has been dropping. Almost all major gun legislation is followed by increases in violent crime. For example, the Brady Laws created a waiting period to buy guns and then rape crimes increased. After all, what kind of person that needs to protect themselves would ever think of buying a gun when they really, really need it?

    the "right to bear arms" is completely separate from the "right to buy arms".

    Not reasonably, and not in US law.

  • Guns defend rights (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:46PM (#45889997)

    Guns haven't been necessary to defend rights since the war of independence...

    Tell that to a black man in Mississippi circa 1964. There are a few that might tell you how the only thing that stood between their home and family, and a dozen angry klansmen with torches, was a 12ga shotgun and the will to use it. Guns in the hands of good people have been used to defend the right to free speech, the right to assemble, and the right to vote, throughout the 20th century.

    Racism is the foundation of gun control in America. Only someone ignorant of history would dispute that. The same thing goes for drug policy, but that's another conversation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:46PM (#45890003)

    America is not like Europe. If strict gun laws worked then you'd expect Chicago's gun crime to be low instead of among the highest in the nation. All the criminals in Chicago have guns, irrespective of what the law says.

    I would not expect Chicago's gun crime to be low unless it was made extremely difficult to get a gun into Chicago. The idea of a nationwide gun ban is that it would be much harder to obtain a firearm because it would have to be brought in from another country. Customs makes that much more difficult than in Chicago's case, where you can just drive 10 minutes, buy a gun legally, then drive back. Not taking a side on this issue, just explaining the theoretical difference.

  • by andydread (758754) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:47PM (#45890011)

    . The truth is most of these deaths are black on black murders done with illegal guns. .

    The truth is most of the deaths are gang murders. Black gangs, Hispanic/Latino gangs, and yes White gangs/motorcylce clubs etc. Its gang activity. Whether it's Jesse James and his gangs back in the day, or Al Capone and his ilk, or the bloods and crips and latin kings today its mostly gang activity. Trying to cast this on one race of people when its obvious that this is not the case is...well.. short sighted to say the least.

    The problem is not the guns its the culture. plain and simple.

  • by DaHat (247651) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:50PM (#45890061) Homepage

    I will defend your right to own guns but the concealed carry laws that all the 2nd Amendment defenders seem to favor are just a bit out there IMO. We tried that during the Dodge City and the wild west days and abandoned it sometime around 1900.

    Your understanding of the 'wild west' is clearly limited to what you see in the movies.

    Of course, most who oppose concealed carry forget that open carry is legal in many a state as well... and given the choice between someone being able to legally carry concealed vs open... which do you think most would prefer?

    Sure... many would say "at least if I can see the gun I know it's there and who to avoid"... to which I'd say "So? If you live your life in such terror of not knowing who might be carrying a weapon and who might not be... not only are your priorities off, but you really need to see help with your anxiety issues".

    Of course the broader thing is people associating a piece of metal & wood with evil... rather than understanding it is only a tool and it is the user who is the committer of such acts... and if sufficiently dedicated doesn't need a firearm.

  • by Arker (91948) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:54PM (#45890105) Homepage

    Europe isnt like Europe either.

    Gun laws vary quite a bit in Europe, and they also have a tradition of applying common sense and simply ignoring technical infractions where no one is hurt (again, this varies widely, but is correct in many areas.)

    Gun laws do not make Europe safer, cultures which do not approve of violence make Europe safer. The US was once just as safe (and that was back before 'gun control' was an issue, when children routinely carried their rifle with them to school.) What has changed has nothing to do with weapons, it has to do with our attitudes towards violence.

  • by Darth Twon (2832799) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @02:00PM (#45890181)
    America is not like Europe because they don't want to be like Europe.

    Need I remind you that USA revolted from a European country in 1775?
  • by Feyshtey (1523799) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @02:46PM (#45890761)
    By that line of reasoning, if you take all a person's possessions you remove any incentive a criminal would have to steal it. Which obviously proves that taking everyone's possessions is the only sane way to eliminate theft.
  • Re:some facts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaveAtFraud (460127) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @03:07PM (#45890999) Homepage Journal

    Recently Iceland recorded it's *FIRST* police shooting resulting in death, ever. An Icelander could say the same thing about Canada (or most other countries). And, in case you're interested, the rate of gun ownership in Iceland is HIGHER than in the U.S. Link to BBC if you don't believe me: []

    Hint: guns and gun ownership aren't the problem.


  • by DaveAtFraud (460127) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @03:14PM (#45891071) Homepage Journal

    What scares me most about the movement to have some sort of mental health check required for gun ownership is that I fear it will lead to a Catch-22 world. One where you can only own a gun if you're not crazy but you are assumed to be crazy if you want to own a gun.


  • by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @03:16PM (#45891087)

    mostly because legal guns are used only very rarely for illegal purposes.


    On the other hand gun related "accidents" happen all the time with legal weapons, and most of them are preventable, often by simply keeping guns out of the hands of people who have failed to demonstrate they have any idea how to treat a firearm.

    So I'm not in favor of gun control to prevent crime, but to prevent accidents. We require some demonstration of competence to let people drive, I don't see any reason a similar demonstration of competence to own a gun is unreasonable.

    Further, legal guns aren't used all that often for crime prevention either. So that argument doesn't hold a lot of water.

    And as for keeping King George or any other threat from taking over the country... I'll need a rifle, not a concealed-carry-handgun. And I need it at home, at the ready for the invasion, not at Burger King with my family. The day I should actually need a gun at Burger King is the day we've crossed over from needing guns to fend off an invasion to actually fighting the invasion.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @03:16PM (#45891091)

    You obviously have a very definite view of gun rights. And thats fair enough. But would you please at least have the intellectual honesty to not coopt the word "constitutional" as if the co stitution were clear on the subject? It isn't, as at least four major schools of thought on the second amendment by real constitutional scholars bears out. Trying to cot that word in order to attempt to remove the nuances of a complex issue is dishonest.

  • by Mashiki (184564) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .ikihsam.> on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @03:25PM (#45891187) Homepage

    The people most opposed to gun control are the ones who are also most opposed to fixing the underlying problems, so what are we supposed to do?

    Yeah hardly. You know that old adage, "you can lead a horse to water but you can't force them to swim." Right, it's the same thing with fixing those "underlying social problems." Especially in the highest crime areas where it's black youth, and the lack of a strong father figure which gives young boys no direction in life. The ones that climb above that are a small minority. Of course to fix the problem, you need to get the entire community itself to grow the fsk up.

    And of course before someone thinks that I'm a blind racist or something, we see the same problem in Canada with natives. And funny enough, it's the same damned problem, with the same underlying social issues, contributing to the same circle. Funny that. This isn't rocket surgery, not by a long shot. And race baiters, and race enablers are the primary cause of this. Followed by the belief that "they're owed something."

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @03:48PM (#45891409)

    You are confused. You might be thinking of former hero to gun control advocates, Michael Bellesiles. His deeds are a sordid story of misconduct and fraud.

    Disarming History []

  • by therealkevinkretz (1585825) * on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @04:13PM (#45891679)

    That's another silly statement. It's not "tilted" - most ideologically-weighted cases come down 5-4, and do not always swing one way or the other. Roberts was derided by the Left as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, yet he twisted himself into a pretzel justifying his opinion that Obamacare is constitutional.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @05:03PM (#45892229)

    What do criminals fear most? Encountering a person who is willing to shoot back.

    Yeah because obviously criminals are really good at calculating their odds and planning costs/benefits in cool-headed and rational manner. And not at all suffer from impulse decisions, unawareness of risks associated and general lack of life-planning skills.

    You live in your own fantasy la-la land, where things make sense because you wish them to.

  • by fzammett (255288) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @05:09PM (#45892289) Homepage

    If you say the murder rate would be decreasing even without carry, a notion I agree with, then clearly you're saying that carrying DOES NOT negatively contribute to the murder rate... to which I'd say what POSSIBLE justification could you have for having a problem with carrying? Are we really going to ban things for no other reason than they seem dangerous? 'cause I'll tell ya, them baseball bats I see on the fields during the summer, them things sure look dangerous to me, we'd better ban them too... oh, and let's not even talk about your table saws or claw hammers or motor vehicles!

    If the murder rate is going down DESPITE carrying, then just leave carrying alone. Doesn't that simply make logical sense to you?

  • Re:some facts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DaveAtFraud (460127) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @05:41PM (#45892591) Homepage Journal

    Handguns are typically legitimately used for self defense. Rifles and shotguns are typically used for hunting. People in Alaska and similar parts of Canada will frequently carry a handgun due to the danger from bears or various types. On the other hand, I don't know of any duck hunters who also carry a pistol while hunting. It all depends on what perils you're worried about. Around here (Colorado) deer hunters will frequently also carry a pistol since a mountain lion may think you're just being helpful by carving up you're deer when you thought you were field dressing him.


Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock.