Daley’s Newest Stab at a Gun Ban

-By Warner Todd Huston

Daley’s temper tantrum against guns continues, but at a much subdued pace. With its recent McDonald v the City of Chicago ruling the Supreme Court of the United States essentially made Daley’s outright gun ban unconstitutional so the mayor has had to retrench and come up with new onerous rules to try and limit guns in his kingdom.

As always, the Chicago City Council rubber stamped Richard “King” Daley’s whims — why do we have a city council anyway?

The new rules do show the mayor’s defeated position, however, as they are much less stringent than his previous mandates. Daley also shied from insisting that there be a one-gun limit and also dropped the idea of expensive and onerous insurance requirements for gun owners, the latter an idea popular with many gun banners.

Still the National Rifle Association intends to challenge the new rules claiming that it is all still unconstitutional.

Daley’s new rules include:

  • Under Daley’s ordinances, handgun owners would need to register all their guns with the city so police know how many weapons are in each home, and would also be required to have a valid Firearm Owner’s ID card.
  • It requires firearms training, both in a classroom and a firing range.
  • Chicago residents would be able to register no more than one handgun per month for each adult in a home. The ordinance “generally prohibits the possession of a handgun by any person except in the person’s home,” according to a city news release.
  • Only one firearm can be kept in immediately operable condition in each home. Other guns must be broken down or have trigger locks in place.
  • Assault weapons are banned, as is the possession of ammunition by anyone who does not have a valid FOID card and registration for a gun of the same caliber.
  • Applicants must be at least 21 years old, unless a parent signs for a child age 18 or older.
  • To protect the city against costs for a lawsuit in case a police officer shoots an armed person while responding to a home, Daley also said the city will pursue legislation at the state and federal levels granting liability immunity for first responders and the city.
  • The ordinance bars anyone from possessing a handgun outside a home, which excludes garages, outdoor areas, hotel rooms and group-living quarters.
  • Would-be gun owners must take a training course with a minimum of one hour on the range and four hours in the classroom before obtaining a permit to a keep a weapon in the home.
  • The ordinance prohibits sawed-off shotguns, assault weapons and “unsafe” handguns.
  • It also requires guns kept in homes with minors under age 18 to be secured when they are not in the possession of the owner.
  • Penalties for not complying with the proposed law range from $1,000 to 90 days in jail.
  • And, as proposed by powerful Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, the new ordinance would create a gun-offender registry to be posted on line by the police department. Anyone convicted of unlawful use or illegal possession of a weapon would be required to register with the police for a four-year period.
  • Each individual is entitled to have one “firearm assembled and operable in the home. All other firearms kept or possessed by that person in his home shall be broken down in a non-functioning state or shall have a trigger lock or other mechanism, other than the firearm safety mechanism, designed to render the firearm temporarily inoperable.”
  • If there is someone in home under age 18 who “is likely to gain access to the firearm,” a gun must be in the owner’s possession, fitted with a safety mechanism rendering it inoperable or unloaded with the ammunition in a securely locked container.
  • To register handguns, a resident must first get a “Chicago Firearm Permit” from the police department. A permit would cost $100 every three years.
  • People who have been convicted of a violent crime, two or more driving-under-the-influence charges or unlawful use of a firearm could not get a permit.
  • Once obtained, residents must then register each weapon. That would cost $15 every three years per weapon.

First off the gun range requirements are clearly unconstitutional. You can’t require expensive classes to take advantage of a right! And the idea that police and first responders can’t do their job without a gun registry is patently idiotic. They do their job all across the country without such a registry. On top of that the people that would use guns for nefarious reasons, the ones that first responders need to fear, certainly won’t obey Daley’s registration rules in the first place.

In fact, we already know that gun registries fail. The Canadians started one and the number of registrations is millions of guns under the estimated number of guns were there before the registry started.

And the rules of disassembling guns is also patently absurd. Not only is it unconstitutional to require people to take their firearms apart but there is no possible way to enforce the rule. Is every gun owner going to see a visit from the police to make sure they tore down their guns? That is hardly feasible, nor is it constitutional.

On top of all this, the city already has access to a registry of sorts. In Illinois every citizen that wants to buy firearms or ammunition must have a Firearms Owners ID Card that is registered with the State Police. You don’t have to have this card just to own a gun, granted, but you have to have it to buy and sell.

In any case, I’d guess that there will be more lawsuits against the city and rightfully so. I am cautiously optimistic that 2nd Amendment rights are finally falling under legal protection for the first time sine the 1920s. Almost every state has concealed carry laws (except Wisc. and Ill.) and even Democrats are shying from gun banning as an election issue these days.

Gun owners are winning legal battles all over the place and this is a good thing. Daley’s newest attempt to regulate guns is weak tea compared to his attempt to outright ban them. The Constitution, at least where the Second Amendment is concerned, is finally winning.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDailyReview.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.

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