According to chicagotribune.com, “As of Monday, police said they had accepted 83 applications for gun permits since the process started two weeks ago.” That’s in stark contrast to the enormous population of illegal guns in the hands of otherwise legal citizens in the City of Chicago. There are a number of possible explanations for the non-rush to satisfy the City’s new requirements for handgun ownership . . .
1. Timing – Applicants for Chicago’s handgun license must have an Illinois Firearms Owner Identification (FOID) card. [Click here for the form.] To get a FOID card, a Chicago resident must complete four hours of approved firearms classroom training, and another hour on an approved gun range. The McDonald decision striking down the City’s handgun ban arrived on June 2. After an applicant satisfies the training and documentation requirements, it takes at least one month to obtain the card. So it’s reasonable to assume that the majority of those 83 applicants already had an FOID card. And that there will be more applicants in the days to come. Although . . .
2. Hassle – There are no gun ranges in Chicago. Nor will there be. Mayor Daley’s post-McDonald gun regulations ban firearms stores within city limits. [Click here to download Chicago's current gun control ordinances.] What are the odds that the City Council would approve planning permission for a gun range? Bottom line: Chicago residents must spend the time and money to travel outside the city to get the training they need for an FOID card and the signed affidavit required by the chicago police for a handgun license. A working stiff would be stuffed. Which leads us to . . .
3. Culture – “Have you ever been adjudicated a delinquent minor for the commission of an offense that if committed by an adult would be a felony?” Say what? That’s question nine on the Illinois FOID application. While an applicant can ask someone for a translation, the form’s language highlights the gap between the average Chicago citizen and the government bureaucracy that controls firearms licensing. Truth be told, most people can’t stand red tape. They avoid it like the plague.
4. Mistrust – How do you think the average Chicago resident feels about contacting the police about guns? Do you think they trust Mayor Daley’s mob not to take punitive actions against them? BTW: the 90-day deadline to register an unregistered gun or face increased penalties ($5,000 fine and 90 days in jail) is in effect. It’s only a matter of time before the Chicago Police launch a major initiative against unregistered firearms that will further poison the well. Not that anyone knows about the new law . . .
5. Promotion - Click here to consider the efforts Illinois Department of Human Services puts into getting Chicago residents to sign-up for food stamps. And then there are the myriad of publicly funded charitable organizations who help guide people through the process. How much money do you think Chicago’s spending to tell residents that they now have a right to bear arms for self-defense, and then provide the assistance they need to successfully exercise that right? Well exactly.
6. – Utility - Your average Chicago resident may be concerned about home invasions, but they’re not stupid. They know that the majority of violent assaults occur on the street. They can lock their doors. Once they step outside their home, they’re at the mercy of gangs and drug abusers. That’s where they feel the fear. And that’s where they can’t take their gun. In fact, ONE STEP outside their home with a legally registered gun and they’re looking at gun confiscation and a criminal record. Why bother?
As we predicted, nothing much has happened since the Supremes told Daley to THINK! It will take years for the NRA and others to clear the way for Chicago residents to embrace their Second Amendment rights.