Federal Judge Rules Chicago's Ban on Gun Shops Unconstitutional

The day after Illinois officially started accepting concealed carry applications, a Federal Judge has ruled that Chicago's ban on gun shops is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang's ruling is sure to inspire controversy. Chicago has developed a reputation for having some of the toughest gun laws of any city in America. Those tough gun laws have resulted in one of the highest murder rates in the nation.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

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A federal judge on Monday stripped away a key element of Chicago's gun ordinance, ruling that it is unconstitutional to prohibit licensed gun stores from operating in the city.

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U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang found that the city failed to convince him that banning the sale of guns by licensed dealers was necessary to reduce gun violence.

The ruling also would make it legal for individuals to transfer ownership of a firearm as a gift or through a private sale as long as the recipient was at least 18 and had a firearm owner's identification card.

Chicago, the last city to allow residents to have handguns in their homes, once had one of the strongest handgun crackdowns in the country, making it a primary target of the National Rifle Association.

Overturning the ban on retail gun stores and private gun sales was the last major hurdle gun rights groups faced in their hard-fought battle to dismantle Chicago's tough firearm prohibitions.

The latest court ruling in the long legal fight came one day after Illinois, the last state to approve a concealed carry law, began accepting applications from residents who want to carry concealed firearms in public.

Don't expect gun shops to start opening immediately. Judge Chang has delayed the effect of his ruling to allow Chicago to appeal.

A federal judge has ruled that Chicago's ban on the sale of handguns is unconstitutional, Bloomberg reported Monday. U.S. District Court Judge Edmond E. Chang said the municipal ordinance goes "too far." He delayed the effect of his ruling to allow the city to respond. "Chicago's ordinance goes too far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions and lawful sales of firearms," Chang wrote in the opinion, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Chicago currently prohibits the sale of handguns within city limits. In September, a city council committee approved a rewrite of the city's gun laws, which included bringing the city's policy on the carry of concealed weapons in line with the state of Illinois' recently passed concealed carry law. The decision comes days after Chicago's Police Department announced that the city's homicide rate in 2013 had reached its lowest level since 1965. The overall crime rate also fell dramatically.

In my opinion, Edmond Chang's ruling simply means that criminals will not be the only individuals buying and selling guns in Chicago.

Chicago's gun laws are obviously not creating the desired effect and this is just further proof that the constitution, which many want to rewrite, works just fine when people allow it to.

What do you think?

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