Fran Spielman at the Sun Times reports on Daley’s reactions to criticism that the city has made the steps necessary to own a handgun in Chicago unnecessarily difficult:
Mayor Daley today denied that he’s making Chicago gun owners jump through hoops to exercise their Second Amendment rights and expressed confidence the city’s new gun law can withstand a court challenge.
“We’re not jumping through hoops. We have to have accountability… This is protection of the city from lawsuits from a lot of people,” the mayor said.
“You have to ask for reasonable gun laws. Until the federal government seizes more illegal guns, that is the issue.”
Two lawsuits have already been filed in an attempt to shoot down the ordinance rushed through by the City Council after the U.S. Supreme Court rendered Chicago’s strictest-in-the-nation handgun ban unenforcible.
One took aim at Daley’s decision to ban gun sales within the city limits.
The other targeted the mayor’s decision to allow Chicagoans to purchase “one handgun per month” and keep one “assembled and operable” inside their homes, but prohibit possession in the garage, yard, porch, deck or walkway.
Today, Daley responded to those lawsuits for the first time — and he offered a new rationale for declaring garages off-limits.
“Garages are separate. People walking to and from a garage. A garage could be in a second lot or a third lot. Is the garage in a high-rise? Do I have a right to carry the gun all the way down? There’s a lot of questions here. That’s what we’re trying to figure out. No one has all the answers,” Daley said.
As for the ban on gun sales, the mayor’s rationale was more amorphous. He would only say, “We have enough gun shops all over the metropolitan area. I’m sorry. It is something that we think it is necessary that we take a stand. Now, they can challenge it. Fine.”
Last month, the Supreme Court’s five-member conservative majority ruled that the Second Amendment right to own a gun for self-defense extends to all Americans, no matter where they live.
The Daley administration responded by doing more to protect its first-responders than Washington D.C. did after its handgun ban was similarly shot down.
The new ordinance requires Chicagoans to register their weapons, but only after obtaining firearms safety training comprised of at least four hours in the classroom and one hour on a firing range.
The Chicago Firearms Permit would cost $100 and have to be renewed every three years.
Chicagoans would be prohibited from obtaining permits if they are: under 18; over 18 but under 21 without parent’s permission; been convicted of a violent crime, domestic violence, two or more drug or drunk driving offenses; lack vision sufficient for a driver’s license or lack a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card.
Today, Daley was asked whether he’s hoping all of the requirements put together would discourage people from buying and registering guns.
“No, no. If people want to have a handgun, they [can] have a handgun,” the mayor said.
But, he added, “If you go in the military, they have months and months of instruction. The Chicago Police Department has months and months of instruction to fire a handgun. Handguns are used to kill people. When you take a gun and point it at somebody, you have to kill that person in your home. … That’s why instructions are so important.”