Remember former Chicago Mayor Daley’s response to the McDonald decision, wherein the Supreme Court struck down the Windy City’s handgun ban? Well, besides putting up every imaginable bureaucratic and procedural hurdle to expanded gun ownership (e.g. mandatory training in a city where gun ranges are prohibited), Daley also shepherded a firearms registration law through the City Council. For the safety of police officers. No really. So how’s that working out then . . .
Through their inaction, the armed citizens of Chicago basically told their beloved former mayor to pound sand. A year later, a little over 3,000 Chicago residents have complied by registering their gats with the CPD. As one gun-owner who’s otherwise in full compliance with state laws put it:
Why should I go register with the city and later have a guy knock at my door saying, ‘Hey, can we see your gun?’
Swallow your coffee before the next sentence, OK? The law also was designed to treat anyone convicted of a gun crime just like a sex offender, requiring them to voluntarily register with the boys in blue.
[The law] requires that anyone convicted of a city, state, or federal gun law offense report it to the police department along with contact information, a photograph, and a copy of their driver’s license. Offenders who don’t comply can be jailed up to six months. In turn, the police department is directed to “create and maintain” a registry of the offenders.
Hope you didn’t spray your screen. It probably won’t surprise you to read that not only are the criminals not registering, but the cops haven’t even created the database to hold the information.
As in so many jurisdictions, Chicago’s so-called guardians believe there’s no problem that another law or regulation can’t fix. Never mind that the only people who are affected by the rules are law-abiding citizens. Muggers, gang-bangers and meth-heads don’t typically give a lot of thought to the latest utopian scheme to come out of the Chicago City Council.
Residents of the Windy City, however, appear to have had enough. If the response to Daley’s diktat is any indication, they’d prefer to protect themselves and take their chances with non-compliance. But Chicago’s gun-grabbing alderman see it as little more than a marketing problem.
Hopefully people will do the right thing and do the registrations like they’re supposed to, says Ninth Ward alderman Anthony Beale, who helped shepherd the law through the council last year. “But if they’re not, we need to promote it.”
Is it me or did alderman Beale just transform an innocent word into something altogether more ominous?