A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois [official website] on Monday struck down [opinion, PDF] part of Chicago's gun ordinance banning the licensed sale of firearms in the city, ruling that it was unconstitutional. In response to a 2010 lawsuit challenging the ordinance, the decision allows licensed firearms dealers to operate within the city and firearm owners to lawfully transfer ownership of their guns. US District Judge Edmond Chang found the city's arguments for retaining the ban unpersuasive and that it would not support its stated purpose of reducing gun violence. In his 35-page opinion, Chang wrote:
Chicago's ordinance goes too far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions and lawful sales of firearms, and at the same time the evidence does not support that the complete ban sufficiently furthers the purposes the ordinance tries to serve.The ruling has been temporarily stayed to allow the city to appeal the decision.
Gun control has been a controversial topic in Illinois, especially in Chicago where lawmakers have attempted to curb endemic gun violence without infringing on the rights of legal firearms owners. The Illinois Supreme Court [official website] in September invalidated [JURIST report] provisions of the state's "aggravated weapon use law" as unconstitutional. In August Illinois Governor Pat Quinn [official website] signed a law expanding background check requirements [JURIST report] to include private transactions of firearms as well as purchases from licensed dealers and requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms. The Illinois legislature passed a bill [JURIST report] in July allowing residents to apply for concealed carry permits, making Illinois the last state to approve some form of concealed weapon permits. A federal judge with the Northern District of Illinois [official website] struck down [JURIST report] a portion of Chicago's firearms ordinance in June 2012 for being unconstitutionally vague.