Federal judge rules Chicago gun ban unconstitutional

Chicago’s ban on gun shops violates the Constitution, a federal judge ruled on Monday, dealing the latest setback to politicians here who had put in place some of the nation’s strictest limits on firearms. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/07/us/judge-rejects-chicagos-ban-on-gun-shops.html?ref=us
“The stark reality facing the city each year is thousands of shooting victims and hundreds of murders committed with a gun,” the judge, Edmond E. Chang, of Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 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.”
The judge stayed his ruling, giving the city a chance to appeal, and said it could still enact regulations on the sale and transfer of weapons if they did not amount to a complete ban.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel strongly disagreed with the judge’s finding against the ban.
Chicago, which has wrestled with gang-related violence and more killings in recent years than in the larger cities of New York and Los Angeles, had for decades banned handguns within city limits. But in 2010, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the city went too far, prompting leaders here to settle for new limits, including outlawing the sale of firearms in the city.
Several residents and an association of Illinois firearms retailers filed a lawsuit, leading to Judge Chang’s decision. “Chicago’s ordinance goes too far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions and lawful sales of firearms,” the judge wrote, “and at the same time the evidence does not support that the complete ban sufficiently furthers the purposes that the ordinance tries to serve.”
Gun rights advocates said they hoped the ruling would send a message to Chicago and other cities setting similar limits. “Just because people live in Chicago doesn’t mean they’ve given up their rights,” said Richard Pearson, the executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association.
Last year, a federal appeals court decision forced state lawmakers to allow residents to carry concealed weapons in Illinois, and the state has begun accepting applications to do so.

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