Judge: Chicago ban on Gun Sales Unconstitutional

A federal judge ruled Monday that Chicago’s ban on virtually all sales and transfers of firearms is unconstitutional.

Gun ban

“The stark reality facing the City each year is thousands of shooting victims and hundreds of murders committed with a gun. But on the other side of this case is another feature of government: certain fundamental rights are protected by the Constitution, put outside government’s reach, including the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense under the Second Amendment,” wrote U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang.

“Chicago’s ordinance goes too far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions and lawful sales of firearms,” he continued.

Chang explicitly did not rule out other types of regulation, short of a complete ban, in order to “minimize the access of criminals to firearms and to track the ownership of firearms.

“But the flat ban on legitimate sales and transfers does not fit closely with those goals,” Chang wrote.

Via – CNN

The ordinance, adopted in 2010 after the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision invalidated a ban on gun possession within the city, allowed only the transfer of firearms through inheritance, prohibiting even gifts among family members.

There were 415 murders and 1,864 shooting incidents last year, according to Chicago police, in the city of 2.7 million where President Barack Obama’s political career began.

The right to keep and bear arms for self-defense under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment must also include the right to acquire a firearm, Chang said.

Roderick Drew, a spokesman for the Chicago’s Department of Law, declined to immediately comment on the court’s ruling.

Chang set a Jan. 13 deadline for the city to file papers seeking a stay and scheduled a status conference before him the following day at the federal courthouse in Chicago.

The lawsuit was filed in July 2010 by three city residents and the Illinois Association of Firearms Retailers.

The case is Benson v. City of Chicago, 10-cv-04184, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago). Click here to read it below.

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