New gun rules go into effect Monday

July 12, 2010 4:28:19 AM PDT
Chicago's new gun-control ordinance goes into effect Monday, banning gun owners from stepping out of their homes with a handgun.

The new ordinance also bans gun shops in Chicago.

Gun advocates have already launched a legal battle against the law.

The new ordinance has not gone into effect yet, but two lawsuits were filed last week.

One lawsuit comes from four Chicago residents who want to carry their handguns outside their home. Another comes from a gun shop owner who wants to open a store in Lincoln Park.

The city admits that Chicago's ordinance goes further than any other city in the country.

Gun shops are busy, and starting Monday they are likely to get even busier. Chicago's new gun ordinance will require training in a classroom and on the firing range.

"There is just a lot of curiosity about what they have to learn, the cost and all that," said Don Mastriani of Elmwood Park's Illinois Gun Works.

The phones have been ringing off the hook Illinois Gun Works ever since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Chicago's gun ban and since Chicago's city council fired back with an ordinance restricting the use of a handgun.

Some gun owners who take the 2nd amendment very seriously say any of type restriction is a violation of their rights, and they argue that limiting the use does not curb violence.

"The criminals are always going to get guns even if they try and take away guns from us," said gun owner Jim Watts.

Besides training, the new ordinance bans gun sales in the city, limits permit holders to one operable handgun in a home, prohibits guns in garages, porches and yards, and allows the purchase of one handgun a month.

Several of these provisions are already being challenged. Some experts say Chicago is legally pushing the envelope.

"Registration, I think, will be upheld; training requirements are likely to be upheld," said Harold Krent of the Kent School of Law. "But there have been no settled judicial opinions about one operable gun per household, about not having a gun in an attached garage, about not having any kind of gun stores within the jurisdictions."

With lawsuits already in the works, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence is confident that several of the new provisions will be upheld in the courts.

"What the city council is trying to do is try and minimize the risk that handguns will pose to people in Chicago while respecting the rights of individuals who want to have a handgun in their home for self defense," said Thomas Mannard of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.

While the new gun ordinance may be controversial among gun owners, it was not with Chicago's aldermen.

The council unanimously passed the ordinance by a vote of 45-0.

While the U.S. Supreme Court said citizens have a right to keep firearms at home, the court did not establish any standards for gun restrictions.

Experts expect some of these lawsuits to make their way from lower courts eventually to the U.S. Supreme Court.


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