Federal judge rules Chicago ban on gun sales unconstitutional

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Photo credit: thelibertydoll.com

A federal judge ruled Monday that a Chicago ordinance banning the sale of firearms within city limits “goes too far” and declared it unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang rejected the city’s argument that banning gun sales by licensed dealers was a necessary step to reducing firearm violence, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“Chicago’s ordinance goes too far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions and lawful sales of firearms, and at the same time the evidence does not support that the complete ban sufficiently furthers the purposes the ordinance tries to serve,” Chang wrote.

The city approved the ordinance in 2010 after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an even stricter law prohibiting the possession of all firearms in the city. The measure also prohibited the transfer of firearms already in the hands of Chicagoans by private sale or even as a gift to family members. Ownership of firearms could only be transferred by inheritance.

According to the Tribune:

The ruling stems from a 2010 lawsuit filed by three residents and an association of Illinois firearms dealers.

The suit alleged the city’s revamped ordinance violates the right of Chicago residents to keep and bear arms under the 2nd and 14th Amendments….

The crux of Chang’s reasoning in his 35-page opinion was that the Second Amendment right to bear arms has little substance without the means to actually acquire weapons.

Although Chicago’s gun laws are among the strictest in the nation, they have arguably done little if anything to curb the high incidence of firearm-related crime the city has become known for, especially in its South Side neighborhoods.

As extreme as an outright ban on gun sales may seem, it’s not the most heavy-handed of Chicago’s tactics.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wrote letters to Bank of America and TD Bank a year ago, asking them to cut off any business dealings with gun manufacturers. He hoped to force the weapons companies into supporting restrictive gun control measures. At the time, Smith & Wesson had a $60 million line of credit with TD Bank, and Sturm, Ruger & Co. had a $25 million line of credit with Bank of America.

Emanuel, who left his post as President Obama’s chief of staff in late 2010 to run for mayor of Chicago, is a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

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