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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 RocketRabbit (830691) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:44PM (#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.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @02:06PM (#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 fredprado (2569351) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @02:15PM (#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 fwarren (579763) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @02:29PM (#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 andydread (758754) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @02:47PM (#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.

        • 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.

          I don't know about these exact figures, but Mike Huckabee said something remarkably similar and PolitiFact [politifact.com] took him to task for being full of it. So I for one would be interested to see the actual numbers behind your claims.

    • by pavon (30274)

      The Supreme Court hasn't even heard this case - it was decided by a federal judge. And if it does get to the Supreme Court they most likely will choose not hear it since there is nothing (legally) controversial about the ruling as it stands.

  • FTFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by colin_faber (1083673) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:49PM (#45889169)
    "Chicago's ordinance goes too far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions and lawful sales of firearms,"
  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:56PM (#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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Faluzeer (583626)

      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.

  • Wrong target (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jklovanc (1603149) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:57PM (#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.

    • Re:Wrong target (Score:5, Informative)

      by DaveAtFraud (460127) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @02:41PM (#45889939) Homepage Journal

      ...

      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.

      Tell me about it. I live in Colorado where the politicians pandered to a vocal constituency and passed a bunch of unenforceable laws in response to the Aurora theater shootings. In spite of these laws and laws already on the books a paroled felon was able to acquire a gun and use it to kill two people. The only difference the new laws made was to make it more difficult for law abiding citizens to buy or sell guns. And, as you predicted, all we heard from the politicians was, "At least we tried". Sadly, this will probably be followed by calls for even more controls that also won't work.

      Cheers,
      Dave

  • by MiniMike (234881) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @02:03PM (#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 Arker (91948)
      They will be released, and their convictions should be expunged. Although in practice this isnt quite automatic, they will still have to get a lawyer to file a motion for it.
  • by troll -1 (956834) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @02:11PM (#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.
  • Decision details (Score:5, Informative)

    by Flamerule (467257) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @03:26PM (#45890523)

    Really sad that the links have few details, and more than 1.5 hours later, no one's posted anything more.

    The decision text is available here [scribd.com]. The decision is by Judge Edmond Chang [wikipedia.org], appointed in 2010 by Obama to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The case name is Illinois Association of Firearm Retailers v. City of Chicago (formerly known as Benson v. City of Chicago).

    This link [nraila.org] says that the lawsuit challenges five aspects of Chicago's law:

    1. the ban on any form of carriage
    2. the ban on gun stores
    3. the ban on firing ranges
    4. the ban on self-defense in garages, porches, and yards
    5. the ban on keeping more than one gun in an operable state
  • Simple solution (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dskoll (99328) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @04:29PM (#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.

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