Nothing. Initially, not a damn thing. The ban will be gone, but the Supremes will not strike down “reasonable” state requirements re: gun ownership. Outside of Chicago, in the rest of Illinois, an aspiring gun owner must apply for a state-issued Firearm Owner’s Identification Information (FOID) card, with the usual background check and prohibition against wife-beating crack-smoking felons with mental health issues who are not lawful U.S. citizens (as if). No test. No unpleasant stretching or bending. Once granted—and Illinois is a “shall issue” state—there’s a 72-hour waiting period for handgun purchases. So once Chicago become legislatively one with the rest of the state on gun licenses, will tens of thousands of firearms hopefuls beat a path to Chicago gun stores?
Again, not in the first instance. As TTAG reported previously, there are over a hundred thousand illegal guns in The Windy City. Existing firearms owners will be reluctant to stroll into one of three (count ‘em three) Chicago gun stores. They might like to buy a new gun, but what the hell do they do with their hot gat? Methinks they’ll shun gun stores for fear that they’ll somehow capture the attention of Johnny Law. Of course, there’s always Chicago’s no-questions-asked gun buy-back program. But the 2010 version finished last month. So it’s wait ’til next year.
Unless you’re wealthy, when time is always on your side. We can certainly expect a surgette of rich white folks applying for and buying guns for home protection. But even without Mayor Richard Daley making good on his threat to erect barriers to gun ownership for his [increasingly ungrateful] constituents, there’s a significant demotivating factor in play: concealed carry regulations.
Home defense is all well and good, but concealed carry is where the firearms-affirmative action is. Or, in Chicago’s case, isn’t. Obviously, the city’s about-to-be-eliminated handgun ban covers both home and the street. Less obvious: Illinois has a blanket ban on concealed carry (save on your own land or “fixed place of business”). A Prairie State resident can pack a pistol all day long—as long as it’s unloaded and stored in a fanny pack (or similar). That’s not going to do very much for Chicagoans looking to protect themselves from street crime. Six seconds to safety my ass.
As we’ve seen across America, when a state or locality allows concealed carry without bureaucratic kerfuffle, gun licenses go skywards, with sales soaring right behind them. For that to happen in Chi-town, the Illinois concealed carry law would have to go. Which it will, thanks to the Supremes and pro-carry activists. But later. After much wrangling.
Meanwhile, all eyes are on Mayor Daley. The boss has vowed to subvert the Supreme Court’s will if they dare to restore Second Amendment rights to a constitutionally impoverished population. BUT Daley is a politician. He realizes that gun control thing is so two thousand and late. So Daley will continue to pander to his liberal base with a little “I’ll make it so hard to buy a gun you’ll wish I HAD shoved that rifle up your ass” saber rattling. But even he knows it’s all so much white noise.
Ultimately, Daley will not go overboard in his efforts to prevent prospective gun-owners from packing heat. The state of Illinois has already done that for him. All Daley has to do to keep Chicago gun sales at a minimum (assuming he truly gives a shit) is nothing. Which is exactly what he will do when all the excitement fades.
By the time the pro-gun folks do the necessary heavy lifting on the state level to enable the gun people’s choice (concealed carry), Daley will be long gone. As will the handgun ban. Without any appreciable effect on guns sales. Or, more importantly, crime. At least not where it really matters: on the street.