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Gun ownership now legal in Chicago

July 13, 2010 4:28:33 AM PDT
Handguns are now allowed in limited numbers in Chicago homes, but not on the city's streets.Monday the city's new handgun law went into effect. Officials say it's the strictest in the country. (DOWNLOAD: Responsible Gun Ownership Ordinance )

The Chicago City Council voted on the new ordinance after the U.S. Supreme Court knocked down the city's handgun ban last month. (DOWNLOAD: Chicago Firearms Rules and Regulations )

The law requires gun owners to go through a lengthy procedure before they can legally have a gun in their homes that includes:

  • A valid Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card, which issued by the state;
  • A Chicago Firearms Permit, which is issued by the city;
  • One hour on the range and four hours of training in the classroom
  • "The worst thing in the world is to buy a gun, load it and stick it under your pillow and not know how it works," said Don Mastrianni, owner of Illinois Gun Works.

    Ever since the U.S Supreme Court struck down Chicago's gun ban, Mastrianni has received hundreds of calls, emails and walk-ins from potential gun buyers who are curious about Chicago's new gun ordinance. But, before running out and buying a gun, there is a process.

    "The process involves two steps, beginning with the application for a Chicago Firearms Permit. We'll call it the CFP. And it is required in order to legally register a firearm," said Supt. Jody Weis, Chicago Police Department. (DOWNLOAD: Chicago Firearms Permit Application )

    The permit must be submitted in person at Chicago Police Headquarters. Once a permit is obtained- and it can take several days, Weis said- gun owners will have five days to register the handgun. (DOWNLOAD: Chicago Firearms Registration Form)

    "It is still illegal to possess a firearm on the streets of Chicago, which includes bringing it to the Chicago Police Department headquarters to register (it). Do not bring your weapons to Chicago Police Department headquarters to register them," said Supt. Weis.

    Also under the law, only one handgun can be registered in a 30-day period and only one operable hand gun is allowed inside the home.

    Denise Byers said she is thrilled Chicagoans can now legally carry guns, even with the restrictions.

    "I grew up in the city of Chicago and I saw all the murders and stuff and (I) didn't feel comfortable without being able to protect myself," said Byers.

    The new ordinance is designed for self-defense, officials said.

    Guns cannot be in a homeowner's garage, on a porch, or in a yard, according to the law. Plus, it must be broken down to be transported.

    As of Monday afternoon, about 100 people have walked into the Chicago Police Department headquarters asking for a permit application. Those can be downloaded at


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