Chicago's "Out Of Step And Outrageous" Gun Sales Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

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After ruling as unconstitutional Chicago ordinances that aim to reduce gun violence by banning their sale within the city’s limits, U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang said Monday 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. As AP reports, the decision is just the latest to attack what were some of the toughest gun-control laws in the nation; with the NRA noting it "shows how out of step and outrageous Chicago’s ordinances really are." Despite the city's ban "to protect its citizens," Chicago last year had more homicides than any city in the nation.

Via AP,

A federal judge has potentially opened a new market to gun dealers after ruling as unconstitutional Chicago ordinances that aim to reduce gun violence by banning their sale within the city’s limits.

 

U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang said Monday 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.

 

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National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde applauded Chang’s decision, saying it “shows how out of step and outrageous Chicago’s ordinances really are.”

 

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Every year Chicago police recover more illegal guns than 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 of guns,” Drew said. “We need stronger gun safety laws, not increased access to firearms within the city.”

 

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“That is one of the fundamental duties of government: to protect its citizens,” he wrote. “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.”

 

Chicago last year had more homicides than any city in the nation. City officials have long acknowledged the ban on gun sales has been weakened due to the legal sale of guns in some surrounding suburbs and states.

 

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“All the people I know who own guns legally are really careful,” said Pacholski, whose wife, also was a plaintiff. “I’m a collector; my guns are not going anywhere unless I know where they’re going because I don’t want to be responsible for someone’s death.”

 

Illinois Council Against Hand Gun Violence campaign coordinator Mark Walsh said he wasn’t surprised by the ruling.

 

“I’m not sure what the city’s plan is (following the ruling), but I think obviously there is a need to make sure gun dealers coming into the city are aware of those who have restrictions on gun ownership and don’t sell to them,” he said.

 

Chicago still has a ban on assault weapons.

As we noted previously, the facts are problematic for the anti-gun lobbyists (no matter how much common sense they believe they have)...

In an inconvenient truth moment for the anti-gun lobby, Harvard's Don Kates and Gary Mauser expose the facts behind gun control and violent crime. While not the first time we have discussed this awkward reality, the depth of the academics' datasets and the findings are unquestionable that there is in fact a "negative correlation" between violence and gun ownership. As they state,

"where firearms are most dense violent crime rates are lowest, and where guns are least dense violent crime rates are highest,"

The burden of proof rests on the proponents of the more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death mantra, especially since they argue public policy ought to be based on that mantra.

To bear that burden would at the very least require showing that a large number of nations with more guns have more death and that nations that have imposed stringent gun controls have achieved substantial reductions in criminal violence (or suicide). But those correlations are not observed when a large number of nations are compared across the world.