Chicago thumbs its nose at Supreme Court over gun case

Who says a city council cannot act quickly to address an emergency?  Less than one week after the United States Supreme Court ruled Chicago’s 28-year old gun ban unconstitutional, the city’s mayor and compliant council rushed through a new firearms ordinance designed to address what they apparently viewed as a crisis, if not a catastrophe – that crime-beleaguered citizens of the Windy City might actually decide to lawfully possess firearms for self-protection.  The City’s rapid response to such a situation is nothing short of blatant civil disobedience; a local government thumbing its nose at the nation’s highest Court. 

The lightening speed with which Daley and his cohorts, including the city’s top lawyer, Mara Georges, acted to thwart the Supreme Court’s June 28th opinion in McDonald v. Chicago, was swifter even than that by the District of Columbia following the high Court’s 2008 Heller decision striking down the three-decades old gun ban in the nation’s capitol.  While not identical in the particular steps each of these two local governments took to avoid complying with the Court’s rulings, the results are the same.  The regulations instituted by the city councils make it virtually impossible for the citizens of their respective cities to exercise their recently-revived Second Amendment rights in any realistic or meaningful way.

Let’s take the Daley anti-firearm ordinance (the “Responsible Gun Ownership Ordinance,” as he labeled it).  Here’s just a sampling of what a Chicagoan now must do in order to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling:

  • He or she cannot purchase a firearm anywhere within the Chicago city limits; Daley’s law prohibits any gun sales anywhere in the city, whether by a retailer or a private citizen.
  • The citizen can have only a single firearm within their home; at least only one gun that is actually operable.
  • That single, functioning firearm cannot lawfully be taken anywhere outside the four walls of the home itself.  That means, literally, a citizen facing an armed assailant on the porch, in their yard, or in their garage, cannot defend themselves with their one lawfully-possessed firearm, without being in violation of Daley’s edict.
  • Even before the city resident can possess that one, operable firearm inside their home, they will have to successfully complete a city-mandated training program in order to obtain a city-issued firearm permit.  Of course, there will be no place within the city that the applicant might obtain such training, because no firing ranges can be operated lawfully inside city limits.

Lest there be any doubt what the true intent of Daley and his colleagues was in passing this ridiculously restrictive ordinance, Hizzoner and other city aldermen made their intent crystal clear in remarks following passage.  Alderman Dan Solis said the city’s action was made necessary because the Supreme Court’s decision simply “was not in the best interests of our citizens.”  Another alderman, Sharon Denise Dixon, exhibiting her obvious Supreme Court-level legal ability, denounced the court’s “blatant misreading of the law.”  The “poor judgment” exhibited by the five members of the high Court who ruled against the City in the opinion, would now be rectified by what I am sure the city leaders consider their own “superior judgment” and their “correct reading” of the Constitution.

Beyond the particulars of the case, Daley’s obstinacy sets a great example for the citizenry – if you disagree with a court ruling, don’t comply; just exercise your power as a government “leader” and circumvent the decision.

The city’s latest anti-firearms ordinance already has been challenged in a lawsuit.  Those of us who believe in the rule of law can but hope that the judges who will ultimately decide the issue, will slap down this blatant government disobedience in the clearest and harshest terms.

110 comments Add your comment

The Chicago Way.

July 12th, 2010
6:28 am

What would Al Capone do? WWACD? Which reminds me of my favorite sport. Baseball! Wanna know why? Teamwork.

It’s the 12th of July. Do you know what place your Braves are in?

FIRST!

Ragnar Danneskjöld

July 12th, 2010
6:42 am

Sounds like Chicago is one good “civil-rights violation” lawsuit away from bankruptcy.

amos33

July 12th, 2010
6:58 am

Has Chicago changed it’s name from Chicago to “Dodge City”? Will be there a big sign that says : “Check all six shooters before you enter the city limits? Does any one really believe Obama would sick ole Erick Holder onto his ole boss, Mayor Daley to vigously and relentlessly enforce the Law of the Land as upheld by the Supreme Court of the USA on the 2nd Amendment right to own firearms? Will Eric Holder pursue that Mayor and launch a lawsuit against the Mayor as he did against Arizona’s Governor and legistlature over immigration? Or is it just conversative folks he after, isn’t that ‘political profiling’? When you only pursue the guys who want to keep their freedoms? What is that Mr. President Obama?

Had Enough

July 12th, 2010
7:20 am

I love the quote “not in the best interest of our citizens”. I am not your citizen you are our elected officials. How is it possible that all of the city alderman voted for this. The people of this city have been beat down so many times that they think laws like this are normal and even in their best interest. Why else would they vote for the trash that is running this circus. I think you could skip the gun classes, although I do feel they are important, and give re-training classes on what it is to be an American again. As for me, if the town I live in where to come up with this Obamanation, I would just have to make my own rules because the city law would “not be in the best interest of my family”. I would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

James

July 12th, 2010
7:33 am

Let’s see. A person can only have one firearm in his or her house; how many would one need to defend oneself? A person would be required to be trained in using that firearm; don’t we ask drivers to take tests too? No guns for sale anywhere in Chicago; there are a lot of “dry” counties too. Can only use the firearm within the confines of the owner’s home? Where else would one need deadly force in self-defense? Sounds like good legislation to me!

Scout

July 12th, 2010
8:06 am

……….. and Chicago will lose this case.

Thug hater

July 12th, 2010
8:11 am

“Let’s see. A person can only have one firearm in his or her house; how many would one need to defend oneself? A person would be required to be trained in using that firearm; don’t we ask drivers to take tests too? No guns for sale anywhere in Chicago; there are a lot of “dry” counties too. Can only use the firearm within the confines of the owner’s home? Where else would one need deadly force in self-defense? Sounds like good legislation to me!”

I hope you get robbed and raped outside of your house, maybe then you’ll understand where else one would need to defend oneself

Jim Flaugher

July 12th, 2010
8:13 am

The Second amendment of our Constitution says the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed! James, no other Constitutional right requires you go to training classes, can only have a small part of them and can’t have the right in your town. Also, people need to be able to defend themselves where ever they are, not just inside the house. Everyone has guns here and guess what, gun crime is very, very rare. Sounds like Chicago’s Mayor Daley and his colleagues need to spend time in jail for contempt of court. For at least as long as it takes for the citizens to recall them or vote them out!

Sean

July 12th, 2010
8:16 am

The right to drive a car or purchase alcohol is not a right provided to you by the US Constitution. The freedom to own a firearm is. With the exercise of all rights, individuals have the responsibility to act appropriately or suffer the consequences. I believe murder is unlawful in Chicago, yet a particular set of individuals continue to commit that crime. Do you really think that erecting obstacles to prevent responsible citizens from purchasing a legal firearm will somehow combat decades of moral erosion caused by the progressives of that state and city?

Jeff

July 12th, 2010
8:50 am

Jim, you write: “The Second amendment of our Constitution says the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed! James, no other Constitutional right requires you go to training classes…”

That’s all the amendment says? Guess what? It also includes the words “well regulated.” Why not mention that, too? Because it negates your second sentence about “no other Constitutional right requires….” Exactly. No other amendment includes the words “well regulated” either. So you really have no point.

Barack

July 12th, 2010
8:58 am

Why are you so surprised, Chicago is where I honed my skills to be a good dictator.

Sam ( The Cool 1 )

July 12th, 2010
9:19 am

You won’t see The Cisco Kid and Pancho in Chicago and that goes for me also.

Jay

July 12th, 2010
9:29 am

Check out the second to last entry. “She” talks about “poor judgment”??? Chicago, you voted for her, you deserve her.
http://www.dui.com/dui-library/illinois/news

Jimmy62

July 12th, 2010
9:30 am

James:
We used to require testing to get your right to vote. But you know what? That was dicriminatory and took away our right. Driving, however, is not a right, it’s a privelidge, and it does not appear in the Constitution.

Obviously you are not comfortable with law abiding citizens being able to defend themselves. Thankfully for you, most of the world does not follow our Constitution and Bill of Rights, so there are plenty of places you can move to if you don’t like it. The law has been the same since 1786 or so, so it’s not like Daley had this suddenly sprung on him. He’s been knowingly restricting the Constitutional rights of Americans for decades.

Had Enough

July 12th, 2010
9:46 am

Actually Jeff the constitution calls for a militia that was to be controlled by the president in times where a militia was needed. The ammendment was set in place because the states would not sign this without regulations on that militia. We are not the militia rather we are the regualtion on the militia which is why “the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. So that the people would never be powerless in the face of an overbearing militia or government.
Now you have a point but its wrong.

Fred

July 12th, 2010
9:53 am

From Jay’s link – politics attracts the most obnoxious, pretentious jakk-azzes. What a story of a power-mad lunatic. Nasty disgusting biicch.

Drew

July 12th, 2010
10:03 am

In a lot of ways, Chicago is one of the nicest cities in America. It’s a shame it’s run like a third-world country. Daley should be in jail.

Sheepdog

July 12th, 2010
10:09 am

Nonresidents can’t possess firearms at all because they aren’t at home. Does this mean Chicago residents have no constitutional rights in other places?

Jeffry Maynard

July 12th, 2010
10:09 am

Jeff, your point is completely invalid. Our highest court has already ruled, twice, that the right to bear arms is an individual right not specifically designated to militia duty. IN addition, it has ruled that this is an inherant right which in simple terms means it is bestowed upon us by our creators and cannot be taken by the federal government or any local government. Perhaps you can join in a class on our Consitution along with the Mayor of Chicago and the ‘elected’ people serving with him. Perhaps, one day, the people of Chicago will get tired of the mis-represention and fight against the political abuse machine created in the 20’s and take back their city.

Grand Forks

July 12th, 2010
10:11 am

Illinois is going bankrupt and Daley is worried about law abiding citizens protecting themselves. Chicago has the highest crime rate in the entire country with more shooting deaths but Daley seems to think that more gun laws are needed.

I guess Democrat thugs love criminals more than the people who pay taxes.

Hey Scout, how’s things on Bookmans blog?

Grand Forks

July 12th, 2010
10:12 am

Chicago will become the next Somalia.

Big D

July 12th, 2010
10:21 am

James,
“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty” Thomas Jefferson.
Clue: This is the reason for the second amendment….if you believe in this type of government it is your prerogative to leave and find a place that is of your liking.
The problem with liberal- progressives is they constantly want to change the rules of the game( Constitution ). We as conservatives like these rules and want to keep them even when people in our own party abuse them, we choose to remove the “bad” person rather than change the rules, therein lies the difference between our ideologies.
Chicago’s approach would be like one player in the World Cup deciding that he didn’t like the rules and decided to start kicking everybody in the shins and tripping them when they had the ball…it does not work in any other venue so why should we allow Chicago or Obama to do it.

Big D

July 12th, 2010
10:29 am

Jeff,
the term well regulated refers to citizen communication as to the status of the “union” and the ability of the government to commit tyranny. If you want to understand the 2nd amendment you need to read the Federalist papers, along with the essays of Madison, Jay, Hamilton and Jefferson. If you can do this there will be no doubt as to the intent.

John D

July 12th, 2010
10:34 am

Say what you will about this ordinance, how else are we going to find the boundary between popular sovereignty (the people of Chicago have shown that they STRONGLY favor handgun restrictions) and the Second Amendment?

Individual right or no, the Court is NOT going to find that the Second Amendment protects a privilege without limits.
Heller and McDonald stand only for the narrow proposition that people have the right to own handguns IN THE HOME, and for the PURPOSE OF SELF-DEFENSE.

We don’t know yet whether the scope of the right extends only that far, but I can guarantee it doesn’t extend, so to speak, to the heavens.

Chicago’s government, acting with a strong mandate from the people of that city, is rooting around looking for the boundary.

StJ

July 12th, 2010
10:48 am

It is obvious that no matter what court rulings overturn whatever gun control laws in so-called “progressive” cities/states, the rulers of these areas will just write another law with the same intent as the one just overturned by the courts.

Anyone who doesn’t believe in firearms ownership by private citizens are more than welcome to move to said areas…and when the criminal element comes to prey on you, you can always call 911. It’s all you need anyway, right?

Eric

July 12th, 2010
10:51 am

Mr. Barr, at some point, would you please address the new cell phone technology that automatically reveals the location of the caller? It’s nobody’s business where I’m calling from or if I choose to delete an unread message. This is leading to a big invasion of privacy–would that be constitutional?

John D

July 12th, 2010
10:52 am

If the “rulers” of Chicago were acting without a popular mandate, StJ, they would not remain the rulers for very long.

It’s important to establish the exact scope of the right protected by the Second Amendment–that is, where the right of the people to govern themselves gives way to the fundamental right of individuals to own weaponry.

All the Court has said so far is that neither Congress nor a State may prohibit the private ownership of handguns IN THE HOME for the purposes of SELF DEFENSE.
Daley’s action is compliant with the Heller and McDonald opinions.

If it’s also unconstitutional, the Courts will have to say so.

[...] Gun Ordinance Takes Effect TodayHuffington Post (blog)MyFox Chicago -ABC7Chicago.com -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 183 news [...]

Duh

July 12th, 2010
11:10 am

I think James took his spanking and is afraid to come back.

Dirty Dawg

July 12th, 2010
11:14 am

Yeah, well it’s too bad Florida didn’t ‘ignore’ the Supreme Court’s ruling back in 2000, we’d have been a hellovalot better off without Bush and ‘The Man Behind the Cretin’ – Cheney for those eight years.

OIFVet@USC

July 12th, 2010
11:24 am

I guess Mayor Daley is taking a cue from Eric Holder and the [New] Justice Department. Ignore federal law and do what you want. To date, almost all of America has regained its once snubbed right to keep and bear arms. 48 out of 50 states also have some sort of guidelines for concealed carry or open carry…or both, on the books. Only Chicago, Washington, DC and a few other holdouts are bucking the Constitution and the recent Supreme Court rulings. Perhaps now is not the time to stand down. Just as most of us are enjoying the right to keep and bear arms, some of our fellow citizens are not. We…and they…need to remain active until all draconian gun control is in the trash heap of bad laws. Part of that activity means “Regime Change” at the ballot box in 2010 and 2012. Get active now. Sign up for these news forums and blogs, stay in constant email contact with your congressional delegations, talk to friends and family, reason…don’t argue…with our adversaries, volunteer to help campaign for pro-liberty conservative candidates, and vote.

John D

July 12th, 2010
11:29 am

OIF: Regime change all you want. That’s democracy!

Chicago’s elected politicians want to restrict handgun ownership to whatever extent they are permitted to do so under the constitution. For the moment, they ARE in compliance with federal law–Heller and McDonald are, as I mentioned above, rather narrowly bounded cases.

Actually, if you read Heller, you’ll see that Scalia SPECIFICALLY said that the decision didn’t prohibit things like licensing.

James

July 12th, 2010
11:36 am

Where is the ACLU, or the Obama Justice Department? Why are they up in arms over Arizona’s immigration law, but not this affront to every American’s civil rights? They are worthless hypocrites who need to be flushed down the drain.

James

July 12th, 2010
11:41 am

John D is full of crap! It doesn’t matter that the “people” of Chicago want to restrict guns. A lot of people wanted to restrict black people from voting. Was that right? No, it wasn’t. The right to keep and bear arms is fundamental to being an American citizen. If you don’t realize that then you are a fool.

Captain

July 12th, 2010
11:43 am

If you are a hunter, a person who shoots game or birds, what do you do with your guns if you live “inside” Chicago? Does the ordinance make any exceptions for legally owned hunting rifles or shotguns? I have to wonder how many of the 250+ shot and killed in Chicago so far this year were killed with “legal” weapons? Any of you anti-gun crusaders care to venture a guess? How many were shot with a 12 guage shotgun, or a deer rifle? If Chicago had a “Gun Law” how in the world did the criminals get their guns? Simplistic people seem to always make simplistic, unrealistic proposals, which never work.

James

July 12th, 2010
11:46 am

The Second Amendment is there to ensure that “the people” have the ability to overthrow a despotic government (like Chicago’s). Don’t try to hide behind the word “Democracy” as a way to justify your cowardly actions. Tyranny of the masses is still tyranny.

John D

July 12th, 2010
11:51 am

James–The Constitution delineates the boundaries of the right of the people to govern themselves.
That it doesn’t permit the people to define the political community in a way that excludes blacks from participation in government (as voters or officeholders) is neither challenged nor assailable. See: Amendments Fourteen and Fifteen.

The precise scope of the individual right protected by the Second Amendment is less clear.
It has NEVER been treated as an absolute right–private citizens have never enjoyed the right to own battleships, or tanks, or nuclear weapons.

So, the next challenge is finding out exactly where the boundary lies.
Like I said, if you read Heller, you’ll see that Scalia specifically says the decision doesn’t concern measures like licensing requirements.
That’s a question the Court left open.

joan

July 12th, 2010
11:55 am

It amazes me that Chicago can be as corrupt as it has long been. Everyone knows the machine politics that go on there. Where is the educated populace? Why don’t they vote these crooks out of office? As for a gun. I have one, and I would rather shoot someone in self defense, and defend my actions later, than not have the gun, and be dead.

OIFVet@USC

July 12th, 2010
11:56 am

John D, the Chicago authorities may interpret court rulings to fit their desires; however, they are not in compliance with the original intent of the framers of the Constitution according to their papers and letters prior to, and following ratification. The 2nd Amendment is as clear cut as the 1st Amendment. To head off any misunderstanding here, the Militia is not the National Guard (or U.S. Volunteers as it was originally called) which did not come about until after the War of 1812 and its first implementation during the Mexican War of 1846-48. The Dick Act of 1912 clearly recognizes the existence of both the National Guard and the Militia. One did not replace the other and to do so would have required an amendment to the Constitution. Now, let’s discuss the reason for the right of law abiding citizens to own and possess arms. Where there are armed law abiding citizens, there are fewer gun crimes and fewer gun accidents according to the U.S. Justice Department’s own National Institute of Justice/Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the annual FBI Crime Report. Just the mere news of the recent McDonald case was followed by a noticeable decline in criminal activity in Washington, DC. Was that a coincidence? It was not a coincidence elsewhere in the country when draconian gun control laws were repealed over the last two decades. Perhaps Mayor Daley ought not to “knee jerk” for political reasons and look out for the safety of the people of Chicago by letting them defend themselves without infringing on their unalienable rights. He won’t be the only Democrat politician to see the light.

Hillbilly Deluxe

July 12th, 2010
12:03 pm

denounced the court’s “blatant misreading of the law.”

However the Court “reads” the law, is just the way it is.

If you can’t buy a gun in Chicago, and you can’t have one outside the four walls of your home, (assuming you don’t live in an L shaped house, which would have 6 walls), and you don’t already own a gun, then you are prohibited from getting one because you can’t transport it from your place of purchase, to your home. That ain’t going to fly and it’s just a waste of the taxpayers time and money to fight it out.

John D

July 12th, 2010
12:10 pm

OIF–

I’m not so much concerned with whether gun control works as with to what extent it is permissible under the United States Constitution.

Even among very strong gun control opponents, there is generally an agreement that the Constitution does not protect a right to private ownership of, say, chemical weapons.
Likewise, few oppose measures that aim to disarm felons or the insane.

Clearly, therefore, the Second Amendment, even if it protects an individual right, does not protect a right that is utterly without limits.

On the subject of original intent: the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It consists of seven original articles and twenty-seven subsequently enacted articles of amendment.

It does not include the private thoughts or extraneous writings of the multitude who wrote it, even if these things could be exhaustively catalogued or understood.

We have only the text!
Sola Scriptura!

OIFVet@USC

July 12th, 2010
12:11 pm

Well said Hillbilly Deluxe. That is what the words “…shall not be infringed” was all about. In this case, a law will be created to “avoid” another law; the unalienable right to keep and bear arms.”

Yankee

July 12th, 2010
12:15 pm

Shows how backward they are, can’t even take a gun to church.

jconservative

July 12th, 2010
12:18 pm

Here are two quotes from Alito’s majority opinion.

“It is important to keep in mind that Heller, while striking down a law that prohibited the possession of handguns in the home, recognized that the right to keep and bear arms is not ‘a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.’”

“We repeat those assurances here. Despite municipal respondents’ doomsday proclamations, incorporation does not imperil every law regulating firearms.”

Now any city councilman or state legislator who can read will interpret those two remarks as an open season on passing restrictions on personal possession. The only thing the Court said in both cases is that a citizen has the right to keep a firearm in his home for protection of his home. The Court left as OK the idea that a city or state can make a citizen jump through flaming hoops to get a required permit.

This case will be in the courts for decades as we iron out the details of exactly what the law allows.

Remember the Court barely passed both cases, 5 – 4. It is obvious that the 5th vote came at the expense of a more far reaching decision. The Court has historically been reluctant to make broad sweeping decisions that clear all questions. They prefer to take them one step at a time.

The City of Chicago will need to make changes to their ordinances several times over the coming decades.

OIFVet@USC

July 12th, 2010
12:21 pm

John D, the papers and letters of the Founders have already been “exhaustively catalogued [and] understood.” They are referred to in legal studies and in legal decisions all of the time. Don’t discount them. We are very fortunate to have what is essentially, a planned and predetermined core to our legal system.

David S

July 12th, 2010
12:33 pm

This is not a snub of the Supreme Court (they should always be snubbed for they collectively have no real respect for the constitution). This is a snub against liberty and natural law. Daley and his disgusting group of scum city councilmen are saying that there is no value whatsoever to the lives of the people living in Chicago. In the old days, the proud tradtion of tarring and feathering and riding the scum out of town on a rail would be exercised by the citizens, but the thugs who HAVE all of the guns (Daley’s police force) would certainly stand in the way of any mob. Too bad.

Leif Rakur

July 12th, 2010
12:34 pm

It is “the right of the people” as a society to form their own government for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration of Independence says so. It is likewise “the right of the people” as a society to secure such a government through a well regulated militia made up of the people themselves. The Second Amendment to the Constitution says so.

The Supreme Court should rethink its decisions to the contrary.

Rich

July 12th, 2010
12:41 pm

Lets see you can only vote once a year, you must only vote inside your house, you can’t vote in this city, you need permission to vote once after taking a voting course. Sounds dumb does it not? You see rights can not be restricted or the are not rights. Driving is a privledge not a right like guns.

John D

July 12th, 2010
12:47 pm

OIF–

To an exent, I agree with you.
That said, the Constitution had a multitude fathers (and later mothers), many of whom couldn’t agree with each other on the color of an orange. All we can reliably go on is the text.

Where “original intent” runs into trouble, I think, is when it pushes us away from the plain meaning of the text–as it often has. Consider, for example, how in Dred Scott the majority read the “needful rules and regulations” clause, on the basis of an admittedly specious “originalist” construction of the constitution, as though it said “all needful rules and regulations EXCEPT WITH RESPECT TO SLAVERY.”

There are modern examples, of course, but Dred Scott is a perfect example of how “originalism” is no guard against judges smuggling their personal views into the constitution.

I live by the text alone!

John D

July 12th, 2010
12:56 pm

Rich–

It’s tough for me to imagine a right that DOESN’T have limits.

Your right to move freely about the community ends at my property line.
Your right to swing your arms ends at my nose.

…This is the case even with the fundamental rights protected by the first Eight Amendments to the United States Constitution.
Your right to speak freely, for example, does not extend to a right to publish maliciously defamatory material, or, per Holmes’ famous dictum, to shout fire in a crowded theater.

The same is true of the Second Amendment–it’s not an unlimited right.