[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website] on Thursday struck down [opinion, PDF] Chicago restrictions on gun ranges throughout the city. The Chicago ordinances barred anyone under the age of 18 from entering a gun range, created zoning rules that "prohibited gun ranges within 500 feet" of schools and churches, and restricted gun ranges to manufacturing districts. The court held that these restrictions violated Chicago citizens' Second Amendment rights because they were excessively broad and were not supported by evidence demonstrating the city's interest in regulating gun ranges. Circuit Judge Rovner dissented, stating:
Every jurisdiction in the country protects the health, safety, and welfare of minors by prohibiting them from purchasing alcohol and cigarettes, by restricting at what age they may drive and with what limitations, when they may enlist in the military and work ... given our long history of protecting minors, even where fundamental rights are in play, stringent regulations for minors in firing ranges will withstand much scrutiny when supported by appropriate evidence.Chicago has seen a huge spike [NYT report] in gun-related violence in 2016, with over 750 people murdered and more than 3,500 shootings. Chicago has repeatedly attempted to curb violence with gun restrictions over the past several years, but those restrictions have often been struck down by state and federal courts. In January 2014 a judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois struck down [JURIST report] a Chicago ordinance that banned the licensed sale of firearms in the city. In September 2013 the Illinois Supreme Court invalidated [JURIST report] certain provisions of the state's Aggravated Weapon Use Law as unconstitutional.