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Chicago gun law may not be bulletproof

Chicago Tribune Article here

Chicago gun law may not be bulletproof

Some legal experts unsure parts of new firearms ordinance can survive

Joe Franzese, ICarry.org's President and owner of Second Amendment Arms has filed suit against the city of Cihcago for banning gun stores

ICarry.org's President, Joe Franzese, and owner of Second Amendment Arms gun stores has filed suit against Chicago for banning gun shops in the city.

As Chicago  prepares to implement its new firearms ordinance Monday, gun advocates have begun a legal assault, filing two lawsuits that constitutional law experts said could be the next round of challenges to how cities can regulate personal gun ownership.

Less than two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for citizens to have handguns at home, Chicago was hit with the lawsuits that target, among other things, the city's ban on gun shops, a controversial and untested regulation that lawyers said could be the next frontier in the battle over firearm rights.

Though Chicago officials said the ordinance, adopted after the court gutted the city's 28-year-old handgun ban, was designed to withstand legal challenges, law experts said some aspects of it might not hold up. While it is impossible to know how far the two federal lawsuits will go in court, experts said banning gun sales, limiting permit holders to one ready-to-fire weapon in a home and prohibiting guns in garages, porches and yards could pose problems for the city in the long run.

"Chicago is in for a long legal challenge," said Eugene Kontorovich, an associate professor at Northwestern University Law School. "Clearly, parts of the ordinance will be struck down, but it is hard to predict how quickly that will happen."

But Chicago's top attorney, Corporation Counsel Mara Georges, said the ordinance falls within the scope of Supreme Court rulings. Some regulations in the new law, she said, have been upheld by federal courts elsewhere.

"In my mind the Supreme Court has said there is a right to have handguns in the home for self-defense. That is not an unlimited right but is subject to reasonable restriction," said Georges. "We feel that we have imposed reasonable restriction. It is up to the courts to tell us if they are."

The Supreme Court, in overturning the Washington, D.C., gun ban in 2008, made it clear that citizens in the district have the right to keep firearms at home. That stance was confirmed and extended to the rest of the country in the court's ruling that made Chicago's ban unenforceable.

But both times, the court declined to establish clear standards for judges to determine whether laws enacted to regulate the purchase and sale of guns violate the Constitution. The lack of a judicial standard has left state and local governments dependent on trial and error, passing laws that often are legally challenged and decided in lower courts with no uniformity from city to city or state to state.

According to Kontorovich, major parts of Chicago's ordinance, particularly limiting guns to the house and restricting the number of operable handguns, seem to contradict the right to "keep and bear arms."

"The bill bans arms in public. So that is like reading the Second Amendment as saying you can 'keep' arms but leave the 'bear' out," he said. "The court made it clear that 'bear' means to carry, and not just around the house."

A lawsuit filed Tuesday involves four Chicago residents who want to carry their guns outside the home and the Illinois Association of Firearm Retailers, whose members want to sell guns and operate shooting ranges in the city. In a suit filed Friday, plaintiff Joe Franzese, who owns Second Amendment Arms in north suburban Lake Villa, wants to open a gun shop in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood.

"The intent (of the new ordinance) is to effectively enact a gun ban ordinance by over-regulating the rights of gun owners to keep and possess their firearms for self-defense in their homes and business," said Charles Cooper, a Washington, D.C., attorney who represents the plaintiffs in the first lawsuit filed.

But Georges said no Chicago alderman is willing to have a gun shop in his or her ward. So rather than implement zoning and other restrictions, the city chose to ban gun sales outright.

Chicago's ordinance, which the city acknowledges goes further than any other, mirrors many aspects of the one passed in Washington after its ban was struck down. Georges said the ordinance was approved after the City Council heard two days of expert testimony on reasonable limits the city could impose.

"We anticipated that we would get a challenge regardless of what the ordinance said, if we had any controls whatsoever," said Georges. "We felt that the D.C. ordinance had already withstood a legal challenge and it was wise to follow in their footsteps on some of these things."

The National Rifle Association and other gun advocates said they are prepared for more challenges. The NRA is not involved in the two recent lawsuits.

"The Supreme Court told Mayor (Richard) Daley and the city of Chicago that it has to respect the Second Amendment. By enacting this ordinance, their response is 'Make us,'" said Chris W. Cox, the NRA's chief lobbyist.

According to Adam Samaha, a law professor at the University of Chicago Law School, the lower courts in Washington, D.C., have upheld some aspects of Chicago's ordinance, including training requirements, limiting the number of guns that can be registered, restricting transfer of firearms from one owner to another and enacting registration requirements such as background checks.

Though federal courts in Chicago are not bound to those rulings, Samaha said, they could work in Chicago's favor.

"It is an indication that judges are receptive to the idea, but it's not a slam-dunk," he said.

dglanton@tribune.com

deldeib@tribune.com

Posted on Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 23:19:56 CDT by ShaunKranish
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Federal Firearms Laws Fraud Revealed

The Federal Government has no constitutional authority to regulate firearms.  How then have all these federal laws been passed and enforced?  What about all the new laws that are always hanging over the heads of tens of millions of peaceful gun owners?

THE FRAUD EXPOSED HERE!!

Sadly, you will only find it here.  Encourage other pro-gun organizations to copy and post this information!!!

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