BREAKING: Chicago Gun Sales Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

In yet another RKBA-related defeat for the Chicago disarmament machine, a federal court has struck down the Windy City’s ban on gun sales within city limits. In finding the prohibition unconstitutional, Federal Judge Edmond Chang wrote that “Chicago’s ordinance goes too far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions and lawful sales of firearms . . .” So it’s legal to engage in lawful commerce involving a legal product? Even in Chicago? Will wonders never cease? Still . . .

In what likely foreshadows further efforts by the city council and Mayor Rahm to squelch firearm sales in any way they can, suntimes.com reports that Judge Chang also wrote, “Indeed, nothing in this opinion prevents the City from considering other regulations — short of the complete ban — on sales and transfers of firearms to minimize the access of criminals to firearms and to track the ownership of firearms.”

There’s no word as to what extent any ordinances designed to prevent “criminal activity” would also impinge on locally elected officials in swift completion of their appointed rounds. [h/t W.H. Thompson]

comments

  1. avatar bobmcd says:

    They’ll just go the NFA route and impose a prohibitive sales tax, or a limit of one gun per year, or something that is just a half-millimeter short of an actual ban.

  2. I don’t think this judge is on our side by any stretch of the imagination. The is practically inviting the City to think up of the craziest restrictions. Any and all restrictions just to get it to slide past it not being a complete ban.

    1. avatar (Formerly) MN Matt says:

      Exactly. Make it so onerous (but of course, not necessarily illegal) to purchase or sell a firearm that no one will attempt it. You’d have to run an expensive gauntlet of even more legal challenges to have the restrictions lifted.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        Seems like the first move is to impose a very high business license fee on the argument that operation of the business will (not likely) create public safety issues for the officials of the city and additional burdens on the local trauma centers.

        Just in case trying to tax each individual purchase doesn’t fly.

    2. avatar DrVino says:

      May be a set up for a prior restraint argument.
      Dirk?

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Prior restraint is a 1st Amendment argument. It has nothing to do with 2A.

    3. avatar bastiches says:

      Anything’s possible of course, but NRO’s CCW Cooke pulled out some interesting info from the ruling. Specifically the judgement references Ezell v. Chicago of 2011 “in which a blanket ban on firing ranges was deemed illegal. As in Ezell, the court argued today that there can be no meaningful right to keep and bear arms if one is unable to buy and to use them: for law-abiding citizens to enjoy it, the court decided, the right ”must also include the right to acquire a firearm.”

      Ezell’s basic standard was that if activity is inextricable from the basic purpose of the Second Amendment (and activities such as practicing shooting, buying a gun, etc. are), then the court must apply to it what has been termed “almost-strict-scrutiny.” That is, it must take into account that ”a severe burden on the core Second Amendment right of armed self-defense [requires] an extremely strong public-interest justification and a close fit between the government’s means and its end.” In Illinois today, the court found that the government’s action did not meet this test …”
      http://tinyurl.com/mxeqg6w

  3. avatar JeffR says:

    And he is a fresh Obama appointee. Where’s my scotch?

    1. avatar Mike H in WA says:

      I think I just drank the last of it after reading this. Sorry, didn’t know you wanted any.

      1. avatar dirk diggler says:

        I have the new Woodford Reserve malt whiskey (very limited) but I think it is taking a hit tonite. wish it wasn’t so cold b/c a cigar would die as well

        1. avatar peirsonb says:

          I insulated and installed a furnace in a garage once for just such an occasion.

          Wives are expensive….

  4. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    Why do these judges feel the need to add their 2cents worth beyond their judgement? Why not just say the sales ban as written is unconstitutional and leave it at that?

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Because he is an Obama regime appointee.

  5. This originally came about from the handgun ban strike down a few years ago. This will yield additional hastily crafted and passed ordinances which will then by struck down in a few years. Rinse and repeat.

    Illustrating Chicago Crime, Murder and Mayhem at heyjackass.com.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      The more things change…

      1. avatar Excedrine says:

        …the more they stay the same.

        1. avatar Jus Bill says:

          Egg-sackly!

  6. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Well it’s about time. 🙂

  7. avatar jirdesteva says:

    Mayor Rahm is probably having a heart attack (one could only hope).

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      I hope he dances himself to death. Rahmbo! Tarantela!

  8. avatar Wyfaggro says:

    I wonder if a new challenge to the “CA approved for sale,” list might be worthwhile now considering this ruling. After all, if a gun isn’t on the list, it is banned from sale in the state. Granted, CA is a different district, but a conflicting ruling would increase the likelihood of bumping the issue to the Supreme Court, so we could essentially get another shot even if we lost in CA.
    I’m kinda itching to see CA laws get the Supreme treatment now that we have given IL a jolly good rogering.

    1. avatar DrVino says:

      Exactly such a change is underway in CA.

    2. avatar KarlanM says:

      Apparently, those laws are in the interest of safety (drop safety, mag safety, ect, ect)… Those never do well in the courts. However, Outright bans *do* get smacked down

      Trust me I hate that law though, I’ve been wanting to send some old Com-Block guns to family, however they are not on the “approved list”

      1. avatar DonS says:

        Presuming “approved list” is CA’s “Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale”…

        If “family” is “immediate family” (i.e. your grandchild, child, parent, or grandparent) in California, you can give off-roster firearms to them. Such intra-family gifts are exempt from the roster. Of course, you have to go through an FFL in CA in order to comply with federal law.

        Once the firearms are in California, that family member can transfer off-roster firearms to any other private party in CA (i.e. face-to-face at an FFL). Private party transfers between CA residents are exempt from the roster.

  9. avatar Capybara says:

    Wyfaggro:

    There already is a case challenging the California Not Unsafe Handgun Roster. It is called Pena vs. Cid.
    http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/Pena_v._Cid

  10. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

    “the City”

    …somehow has super-constitutional powers.

    Hell if I’d ever live in one …or a nanny state.

    Preemption:
    18 PA. STAT. ANN. §6120 (2011) No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth

    Hoorah

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      This raises a very interesting issue. The new Illinois law has pre-emption for gun laws–with an exception for laws on the books prior to the effective date of the statute, if memory serves. Chicago of course enacted such a law–but now that that law has been declared unconstitutional, one wonders if the City is now precluded from passing any new laws on the subject matter of transfers of firearms, which would seem to include gun stores. and sales.

      1. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

        Hmmm…. Hard for my non-lawyer self to even take a stab at that, but I guess it would depend on how the Illinois Preemption law was written? (and how it is in interpreted too, of course)

        http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/state-laws/pennsylvania.aspx

        Preemption

        18 PA. STAT. ANN. §6120 (2011) No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth

        18 PA. STAT. ANN. §6120 (2011)

        § 6120. Limitation on the regulation of firearms and ammunition

        (a) General rule.–No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.

        (a.1) No right of action.–

        (1) No political subdivision may bring or maintain an action at law or in equity against any firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association or dealer for damages, abatement, injunctive relief or any other relief or remedy resulting from or relating to either the lawful design or manufacture of firearms or ammunition or the lawful marketing or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public.

        (2) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a political subdivision from bringing or maintaining an action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer or dealer for breach of contract or warranty as to firearms or ammunition purchased by the political subdivision.

        (b) Definitions.–As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

        “Dealer.” The term shall include any person engaged in the business of selling at wholesale or retail a firearm or ammunition.

        “Firearms.” This term shall have the meaning given to it in section 5515(relating to prohibiting of paramilitary training) but shall not include air rifles as that term is defined in section 6304 ( relating to sale and use of air rifles).

        “Political subdivision.” The term shall include any home rule charter municipality, county, city, borough, incorporated town, township or school district.

      2. avatar Excedrine says:

        Oh, they’ll pass whatever laws they want to regardless of whatever higher authority says “No” — a word they have yet to grasp the true meaning of.

        They will somehow force the city police to enforce it for a time while the city fights through appeal after appeal, regardless of how illegal it is to enforce it to begin with. When it is finally struck down, their DA will still over-step their authority and bring fire and brimstone against any and all legally-armed citizens as soon as they even so much as breathe wrong. Even that will have to be addressed by a higher court at some point. Either that or he’ll be replaced with someone who actually has some semblance of intelligence (which you can go ahead and file under wishful thinking for the foreseeable future).

        The City of Windbags will literally fight this tooth-and-fucking-nail in every way imaginable — in ways that none of us have thought of yet, and in ways that will always manage to surprise, shock, and appall us.

        Nothing ever really changes, does it?

        1. avatar Jus Bill says:

          Sadly for the people of Chicago, I’m afraid you’re right. The Chicago machine has been good at doing this stuff since the Capone days.

      3. avatar SteveInCO says:

        To the best of my recollection, ALL handgun regs regardless of age were pre-empted. Long gun restrictions, on the other hand, did get grandfathered in (and municipalities were given ten days to pass new ones).

      4. avatar Mike H in WA says:

        If the law is remotely similar to WA State’s, it pretty much should remove the city’s ability to pass anything counter or more restrictive than state law. The previous Seattle mayor tried to pull a similar stunt banning firearms in certain locations allowed under state law, and it got smacked down pretty hard.

  11. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    The yakuza is going to pay rahm a visit and cut off another one of his fingers for his failure to control this judge.

    1. avatar Excedrine says:

      Oh, if only…

  12. You all should read the actual opinion ( http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/196727151?access_key=key-23wkyh36zqeakbiq8xz6&allow_share=true&escape=false&view_mode=scroll ) I have never before seen an opinion so full of WIN for gun rights. Yes, the judge says that Chicago can enact other regulations short of a ban, but the regulations being spoken of is requiring security measure on gun stores, if Chicago truly is worried about gun store burglaries. It is a really good read, I recommend it. I can’t believe it coming from this district.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      That is some great writing by the judge.
      Thanks for the link!
      I don’t see how chicago is going to anything but bend over.

      1. avatar int19h says:

        It’s funny how the people above (who haven’t read the decision) deride the judge for being a liberal activist Obama appointee.

        Sometimes judges are just judges, you know. As in, they apply law as written.

  13. avatar William Burke says:

    Except there is nowhere in Chicago to buy a gun. Except from “Pantera” down the alley a ways.

  14. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    I am watching the FL State/Auburn game so no time to read full opinion yet. Chicago may SOL on new restrictions, but don’t forget cook county (under periwinkle) imposed a tax on gun sales in the county. Don’t be surprised if chicago makes up a new tax. I have a few other things I could offer up but why give aid/comfort to the enemy?

    Yes. A win is a win.

    1. avatar dirk diggler says:

      ok- read it during halftime

      good ruling. applies ezell and indicates the city is subject to greater than intermediate but less than strict scrutiny. shows like ezell that the city is just throwing up obstacles that impede the very basic right to acquire a weapon which goes to the right to keep and bear. what i liked about the ruling was the way the judge went through the analysis to apply. This is key when the court of appeals gets it since he stayed his opinion pending the city’s eventual appeal and/or creation of new ordinances. Although, as noted above, given the current state pre-emption, I am at a loss for what the city can do short of zoning and limited taxing. Otherwise, than every city who disliked guns could tax the hell out of them (taxing a fundamental right, ie, to buy a gun, would clearly hit a strict scrutiny snag) or limit them to a very narrow area (ie, one specific block).

      I am sure the tiny dancer is pissed off, but it doesn’t seem like the city had its’ A-team of lawyers working on this one to develop the facts before summary judgment.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        It doesn’t matter how good your lawyers are when there are no facts supporting your position. There was simply no way in hell that the City was going to be able to demonstrate a overwhelming public interest in banning gun stores when it cannot ban guns or gun ranges or concealed carry gun licenses. Add to the fact that an Illinois resident can buy guns anywhere in the state and bring them to Chicago, there was no way the City could demonstrate a “close fit” between the reg. and the public interest.

      2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Thanks for taking time away from the game to read the opinion, Dirk.

        1. avatar dirk diggler says:

          I try

  15. avatar Cubby123 says:

    Will the stupidity never cease in that place ?

  16. avatar Hannibal says:

    Three years. That’s how long it took to strike down this stupid ordinance that Chicago enacted in the face of numerous federal court decisions. Sure, this exact issue hadn’t yet been decided, but that’s the point; Chicago, New York, it’s the same playbook. Alter things a little, pass them again, and screw over gun owners while it ponderously makes its way through the courts. It’ll be years before the “Safe Act” gets to where it could be heard by SCOTUS. Either it gets upheld out of political fear or struck down, but in the latter case it all starts again. Heads they win, tails we lose.

    Until there’s a decision with balls from the Supreme Court this is how it will continue to go, and even legal victories will be Pyrrhic- remember, we’re paying the legal bills for the state to screw us over.

  17. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    They will just zone firearms shops to the 3 blocks in the middle of the bad part of town were the cops don’t even go.

    1. If they do that, what do you think the chances are that particular neighborhood stops being ‘the bad’ part of town?

  18. avatar IdahoPete says:

    Rahm Emmanuel, Barack Obama, and all the Chicago pols are no doubt frothing at the mouth over this latest blow to their statist dreams.

    Can we say “Schadenfreude”, boys and girls? YES WE CAN!!

  19. avatar joe says:

    I hope that this means that Oak Park’s (suburb to the west of Chicago) ban on all firearm sales and transfers is next. They ban all sales and transfers, except to police officers and members of the ‘organized militia’.

  20. avatar kkizzle says:

    Solving the epidemic of violence that plagues the city of Chicago and directly affects the lives of thousands of residents is vital. The solution may seem distant, the options on the table may be unconstitutional, and people’s opinions will definitely differ. A great city like Chicago will succeed in quelling the violence and building a better future for our community through a variety of investment from communities across the great state of Illinois.

    Increased taxation and fees on gun ownership is a necessity to help realistically and economically support the government and local agencies in the fight for a better tomorrow. Gun sales should always be legal, plain and simple; however the cost of ownership for a gun may have a surcharge that is used to mitigate the negative effects and create awareness towards gun control and safety. Truthfully, there is a lot of money on the table, and those that want to fight it should look at the reality:
    “There are 1.4 million FOID card holders in Illinois. In Illinois, anyone who owns a firearm or ammunition is required to have a FOID card, which costs $10 and lasts 10 years.”*1
    For reference, please note that the taxes on a pack of cigarettes are now $7.17 per pack. So, essentially it seems realistic that the residents of Chicago would be willing to do a little on the taxation end. Recommend a major tax, NO, but a realistic tax, YES. A potential substitute to a tax may also be a charitable donation of equal or greater amount to a handful of government approved programs.
    Through increased funding, the city of Chicago, should continue and expand upon successful programs like increased foot patrols. This is a successful endeavor and is the beginning of the correct type of police involvement. The goal of the city should be to foster a partnership and sense of security between the community, its members, and the officials paid to protect and serve the residents of the area.
    Increased police presence in community events will continue to yield stronger and more committed neighborhoods. The police should continue their path of becoming more part of the community via local events in a manner that creates a sense of collaboration and professionalism. The goal is to make the police appear as part of the community and committed to the mutual success of the area. Community events should transpire beyond just “take-back events” and transcend into schools, churches and all avenues where police presence is common-place, professional, and empowering to community members.
    Increase camera surveillance on high crime locations. Though many within the community may not want to see cameras on every corner light pole, it is not to say that in certain isolated areas this is a great tool in preventing and solving crimes. It would appear that this is a great crime-deterrent and would be embraced by residents of impacted neighborhoods.
    Increase private and public funding of after school programs within the hardest affected communities. The long term success is dictated by the youth and their desire to succeed and not succumb to negative influence. This requires additional funding to promote children wanting to make meaning of their lives and requires the collaboration of all elements private and public, small and large businesses, government agencies, and local and non-local organizations. The more done on this front, whether it is a local mechanic that offers time to teach his/her trade to the youth or a worldwide sports apparel company donating uniforms and equipment similar to those worn by the professionals will make positive impacts. People from all over will help, but it requires the media, politicians, and community members to focus on solutions and positive impact stories.
    There are many other activities that may be done with time, and as communities regain traction the benefits are overwhelming. Short term impacts will be subtle reductions in crime rates, but with continued vigilance, execution, and commitment continuous decline will occur. With a decrease in crime, the economic impact will require less public assistance and gain more private investments. Long and short the city of Chicago is doing many of the correct actions to fight the surge in crime and with a continued focus on positive solutions and not extreme ideas the City’s embattled communities will thrive.

    Related Articles and Links:
    The city is moving in the right direction with increased foot patrols:
    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-09-11/news/ct-met-emanuel-mccarthy-fighting-crime-20130911_1_foot-patrols-chicago-police-department-fop-president-michael-shields
    Chicago police organize take-back events at parks after shootings:
    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-10-03/news/ct-met-violence-in-parks-20131004_1_chicago-police-shootings-parks
    Understanding Community Policing:
    https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/commp.pdf
    Referenced article:
    *1 http://www.pantagraph.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/by-the-numbers-who-owns-guns-in-illinois/article_71373c50-43e9-11e2-b5f9-0019bb2963f4.htm

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