Immediately after the Supreme Court’s McDonald decision—striking down the Windy City’s handgun ban—Mayor Daley’s City Council passed a passel of restrictive gun ownership regulations. Handgun hurdles include a $100 fee (every three years), $15 a gun, registration with the police and firearms training at a gun range. Only Chicago banned gun ranges within the City limits. The Second Amendment Foundation filed suit against this aspect of the regs. Rather than lose in court, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has backed down. Only not completely . . .
The proposed ordinance limits gun ranges to areas zoned for manufacturing. Outdoor ranges would be banned. Anyone opening a gun range would have to obtain a gun permit from the city and obtain approval from the Chicago Police Department for a safety plan.
The suntimes.com article also reveals that only 3500 Chicagoans have applied for permits. Which shows you the long-term effects of gun control on gun rights. (I meet people at the gun range who are shocked to discover RI’s cities and towns are now issuing concealed carry permits, in accordance with the law.)
Interestingly, back in March, the New York Times revealed that the Chicago police were having their own gun range “issues.”
The department plans to build a firing range and training ground on 33 acres off 134th Street and south of Lake Calumet, which is owned by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. In November, the district’s commissioners voted 7 to 2 to begin the process of leasing the land to the department for 39 years at $10 a year.
In a statement, the police department said it needed the range to train officers for situations like an “active shooter scenario, including but not limited to terrorist activity and other critical incidents affecting public safety.”
The land does not appear unspoiled; it is bordered by landfills and railroad tracks and overgrown with tall reeds.
But [Chicago Audubon Society President Roger] Shamley and other birdwatchers say it is a key nesting area for migratory birds. The black-crowned night heron, listed as endangered in Illinois, is known to nest nearby. The National Audubon Society includes the land and an adjacent pond and marsh in an area it has designated the Lake Calumet Important Bird Area. Chicago sits on the Mississippi Flyway, a major migratory route . . .
The proposed firing range is west of the planned Ford Calumet Environmental Center, which is intended to anchor a network of trails.
“We’re going to send thousands of families on trails to experience nature, while they will have the perceptible sound of gunfire in the background?” [water district commissioner Debra] Shore said.