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United States Politics

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

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the urban-bear-hunting dept.
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 Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:56PM (#45889261)

    How may gun-relate crimes have been stopped thanks to citizen carrying guns? It seems to me that the more guns there are, the more death there are.

  • by SpaceManFlip (2720507) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:00PM (#45889323)
    Fortunately where I used to live I was empowered with freedoms and I got my first gun at about age 8 or 10. I learned responsible gun safety and marksmanship at a good age and my parents kept it for me so that I was only allowed to use it under supervision.

    2 or 3 decades later after continuous gun ownership I still haven't shot any people or had any firearms accidents resulting in human injury. Additionally I retain the ability to secure meat for food and the ability to defend my home and family against malicious intruders.

  • by Faluzeer (583626) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:02PM (#45889351)

    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.

    What study? Can you please provide a link to it.

  • by MiniMike (234881) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:03PM (#45889363)

    If this ruling is upheld, and the law is permanently ruled unconstitutional, what happens to the people previously convicted under this law? IANAL, obviously.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:16PM (#45889553)

    You know what's sad?

    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?

    Go with their solution?

  • Re:hold it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SydShamino (547793) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:22PM (#45889617)

    That's akin to saying that the constitution allows for free speech, but not for the pre-requisite air.

    The thing is, it doesn't, at least not in the opinions of many people. All those folks who like to blather on about negative rights rarely bring up the fact that, without strong and well-enforced environmental regulation, the air we breath, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the land upon which we live can be contaminated to the point that it will not sustain healthy life, and all of that is okay because air, water, food, shelter, and health don't fall into the category of negative rights, but are instead positive rights that restrict (often unfairly, in these people's minds) the rights of others.

    In other words, I'm talking about the type of people who like to talk about natural rights like freedom of speech, worship, ownership, but hate the idea of government restrictions on what they do with their land, their air, or their water, even those these are all commons that are shared with the community at large.

    A person who both supports natural and negative rights but sees strong environmental protections as important to protect those rights is a rare person, indeed.

  • The statistics (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Okian Warrior (537106) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:38PM (#45889883) Homepage Journal

    Clearly, having a full auto rifle would help the sick person achieve his goals more efficiently.

    I'll tell you why there are so few deaths from fully automatic assault rifles: gun control works.

    As someone who deals with statistics as his day job (AI research: extracting signal from noise), I find the question of gun control fascinating.

    Ideally, there should be an evidence-based answer that one can use as a basis of opinion. We have an enormous amount of evidence and analysis from which to draw out conclusions, so the answer should be obvious.

    Is it?

    Actually, it is. There is a clear and unambiguous answer to the issue of gun control, an answer based on evidence and when implemented would minimize societal damage. Anyone who cares can go looking for it...

    ...and they will likely fail. The issue is completely polluted by bad statistics, emotional argument, and improper comparison. By both sides of the debate.

    To a statistician and armchair observer, this is what makes it fascinating. The country cries out for the definitive answer that no one - no side of the debate - will give. I find it highly amusing.

    Some examples:

    Comparing America to any other country is not valid. Unlike other countries, America does not have good health care, which presents an overwhelming influence on the statistics. Fewer people die from guns in country X, but fewer people die from any cause in country X so don't form your opinion on that.

    Comparing America to England specifically will not work because the two countries count murders differently. In America a gunshot victim is either an accident, suicide, or murder. In England, it's not murder unless there's a trial and conviction. England has fewer gun murders than the US, but it's not relevant.

    Calling attention to a narrow, specific statistic will not work because it asks the wrong question. "If you own a gun you're more likely to shoot someone you know than an unknown assailant" is my favourite, but there are others: "...more likely to commit suicide by gun", "...more likely to accidentally shoot a family member", and so on. These are carefully-worded responses of the same nature as NSA denials: literally true and misleading.

    Any statistic statistic related to deaths or injuries won't work because it asks the wrong question. Guns have an influence on society and behaviour that goes beyond their actual use: disincentives for crime, for example.

    Can you find the right question to ask?

    Once you have the right question, you can compare different sections within America to each other, and different European countries (with similar health care) to each other.

    When you do that, the evidence is strong and unambiguous... but I find the squabble and debate surrounding the issue Pythonesque, almost something that Franz Kafka would write.

    Fascinating. And highly amusing.

  • by EMG at MU (1194965) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:45PM (#45889983)

    See, when you take guns away from normal people, you make gun violence SAFE for criminals. They wave their gun around without fear of getting shot.

    That is the result.

    Is that what you want?

    Do you think being in a gang in Chicago is safe? Do you really think an average joe is going to pull a gun on a gang member on the south side of Chicago? Do you know how gangs work? You kill one of them, they come and kill someone from your gang. Not in a gang? Even better, they just come kill you. "Normal" people aren't going to become RoboCop and stand up to criminals, that's suicide.

    There is crime in Chicago not because criminals feel like they can act with impunity, but because so many people know nothing else than crime and violence and there are very few opportunities to support yourself without turning to crime. No one is going to say "man, gang banging is dangerous now that "normal" people have guns, I'm going to go become a bank teller". I really can't understand how you can convince yourself of such nonsense.

    Neither more or less guns are going to fix the problem in Chicago.

  • by lgw (121541) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:49PM (#45890035) Journal

    No, the wild west was open carry. Open carry seems provocative. The primary point of most states' concealed carry laws is that your gun must remain concealed at all times. Flashing or suggesting you carry can cost your license, and is assault if it can be construed as a threat - which is an automatic 10 year sentence in some states.

    The best part of concealed carry is herd immunity - you can benefit from other's carrying and the deterrent effect that has. It's no coincidence that all but one mass shooting in the past few decades happened in a "gun free zone" of some sort (and the one exception was likely a political assassination with collateral damage, not a random shooting).

  • by harrkev (623093) <kfmsd@harrelsonfa[ ]y.org ['mil' in gap]> on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:50PM (#45890045) Homepage

    So why is it that the vast majority of mass shootings are in "gun free zones?"

    The New Life shooting was stopped by a person with a concealed permit: Wikpedia Link [wikipedia.org] Without concealed permits, that WOULD have been a "mass shooting."

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

  • Re:The statistics (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ionized (170001) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:51PM (#45890063) Journal

    well, don't leave us hanging. after all that pontification, you could have at least given us the right question, and the answer, and the evidence to back it up! jeez!

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:59PM (#45890167)

    I think you'll find that the murder rate (RATE - not total which was much lower) was actually lower during the "wild" west than it is today.

    The reality is that the the "wild" west is mostly an invention of the mid-20th century movie industry that took a handful of historical events and portrayed it such that people think that it was completely normal for the town to be shot up.

    As a matter of fact specifically in Dodge City as you mention from 1870 to 1885 there were a total of 45 homicides, putting the murder rate at 1 per 100k people.
    http://www.examiner.com/article/dispelling-the-myth-of-the-wild-west [examiner.com]

    The current murder rate as of 2010 is 4.8 per 100k for the overall country and is much higher than that in some urban areas.
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl01.xls [fbi.gov]

    The simple fact is that the "wild" west wasn't as wild as you'd believe.

  • by erice (13380) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @02:25PM (#45890507) Homepage

    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.

    Bah. I see no evidence that this Supreme Court is correctly dealing with the Second Amendment. I only see a slight tilt toward those who want to mostly ignore the second amendment but still keep their toys and away from those who want to get rid of the toys too.

    Overthrowing an oppressive government (what the second amendment is about) requires modern military hardware. In this age, that means tanks, RPGs and military aircraft. When the Supreme Court rules that private ownership of these must be allowed then I will believe that it is handling the Second Amendment "correctly".

    Less you think I am nut case who actually wants my neighbors to be toting rocket propelled grenades: I don't. But that is what the second amendment means. As long as we have a section of constitution that it is considered OK to grossly misinterpret, all of our rights are in danger.

  • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @03:09PM (#45891013)
    This is why it's important to restore the Constitution as much as possible and enable "Constitutional carry" as Vermont has always had and Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas and Wyoming have resumed. If you're not a criminal, you can carry whatever/however you want, no permission slip required.
  • Simple solution (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dskoll (99328) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @03:29PM (#45891235)

    Impose a tax on firearms sold in the city and use the funds raised to compensate victims of crime. That would probably stand up to a constitutional challenge.

  • The Wild West (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Prien715 (251944) <agnosticpope@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @03:31PM (#45891251) Journal

    Actually the so-called "wild west" was not open carry.

    Upon entering town, you surrendered your weapons to the sherriff who would hold the weapon until you left town. If you didn't surrender your weapon, the sherriff would -- and did -- take it from your cold dead hands. The most famous incident was the Shootout at the OK Corral [wikipedia.org].

    Back then, it was considered "common sense" to not carry a gun around in civilization.

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