Chicago’sbanon the sale and transfer of firearms was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge, saying that while the government has a duty to protect its citizens, it’s also obligated to protect constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.
A federal judge on Monday overturnedChicago’sbanon the sale and transfer of firearms, ruling that the city’s ordinances aimed at reducinggunviolence are unconstitutional.
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US District Judge Edmond E. Chang said in his ruling that while the government has a duty to protect its citizens, it’s also obligated to protect constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. However, Chang said he would temporarily stay the effects of his ruling, meaning the ordinances can stand while the city decides whether to appeal.
The decision is just the latest to attack what were some of the toughest gun-control laws in the nation. In 2010, the US Supreme Court struck downChicago’slong-standinggunban. And last year, Illinois legislators were forced by a federal appeals court to adopt a law allowing residents to carry concealed weapons in Illinois, the only state that stillbannedthe practice. The resulting state law largely stripped city and officials of surrounding Cook County of their authority to regulateguns, which especially irked officials inChicago, where residents had to apply for concealed-carry permits through the police chief.
National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde applauded Chang’s decision, saying the fact a federal judge appointed by President Barack Obama “ruled in favor of the Second Amendment, shows how out of step and outrageousChicago’sordinances really are.”
Roderick Drew, a spokesman forChicago’slaw department, said Mayor Rahm Emanuel disagrees with Chang’s ruling and has instructed the city’s lawyer to consider options to regulategunsales.
“Every yearChicagopolice recover more illegalgunsthan officers in any city in the country, a factor of lax federal laws as well as lax laws in Illinois and surrounding states related to straw purchasing and the transfer ofguns,” Drew said. “We need strongergunsafety laws, not increased access to firearms within the city.”
Chang’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the Illinois Association of Firearms Retailers and threeChicagoresidents. The judge notedChicago’sbancovers not only federally licensed firearms dealers, but also gifts among family members, all in the name of reducinggunviolence.