Chicago, long a city in the grip of anti-firearms politicians like former Mayor William Daley, has again had its hands slapped by a federal court. Still, the Windy City, now headed by former Clintonista, Rahm Emanuel, is unlikely to change its ways without further challenges by firearms-rights groups and citizens who desire only to be able to defend themselves with a firearm if they so choose.
The first legal blow dealt Chicago was just last year ago, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the city’s long-standing ban on private ownership of firearms. Since that decision (known as McDonald v. City of Chicago) was handed down, anti-firearms politicians have openly thwarted the decision and tried every trick in the book to avoid complying with the High Court; including a ban on gun ranges within city limits. Earlier this month, a three-judge panel of the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling, and enjoined the city from enforcing the gun-range ban.
The appellate court noted that such a ban constitutes “a serious encroachment on the right to maintain proficiency in firearm use, an important corollary to the meaningful exercise of the core right to possess firearms for self-defense.”
The circuit court opinion slammed the anti-gun ordinance passed by the city’s Board of Alderman in the wake of McDonald v. Chicago. The law required that all residents of the city must have training, including an hour of live instruction. The court wrote that “[t]his was not so much a nod to the importance of live‐range training as it was a thumbing of the municipal nose at the Supreme Court.” The appeals court panel added, “The effect of the ordinance is another complete ban on gun ownership within City limits.”
City leaders, including Emanuel, apparently saw the writing on the wall, and passed new regulations that purported to allow gun ranges in the city before the decision by the Seventh Circuit was announced. This move, however, was a cynical ploy to keep the city’s law-abiding citizens disarmed. The regulations make it virtually impossible to construct or manage a gun range in the city. Such establishments, for example, as noted by the Chicago Times, “could be built only in areas of Chicago zoned for manufacturing and would have to be more than 1,000 feet away from residential areas, schools, parks, liquor retailers, libraries, museums and hospitals.”
Moreover, as the Washington Times recently pointed out, the latest ordinance requires “so many bureaucratic approvals, fees and requirements that nobody could possibly run a successful operation meeting the conditions.”
While anti-firearms advocates may cheer Chicago’s continued efforts to thwart directives from the highest courts in the land, law-abiding citizens of the Windy City continue to suffer, by being victimized daily by criminals who have no trouble finding guns on the black market.
It is high time for the courts to start imposing sanctions directly on the politicians themselves who are abusing their oaths of office to uphold the law and the Constitution, and who are in open contempt of the federal courts.
by Bob Barr — The Barr Code