McDonald v. City of Chicago

Chicago Restrictions To Gun Ranges Ruled Unconstitutional

The City of Chicago lost yet another court battle versus gun “rights.” From a news release yesterday on the website of the Second Amendment Foundation:

A three-judge panel of the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today handed the Second Amendment Foundation a victory in its challenge of firearms regulations in the City of Chicago, striking down a zoning provision, reversing an earlier ruling that upheld “distancing” restrictions for gun ranges, and reversing an earlier ruling that upheld certain age restrictions.

Writing for the court, Judge Diane S. Sykes noted, “To justify these barriers, the City raised only speculative claims of harm to public health and safety. That’s not nearly enough to survive the heightened scrutiny that applies to burdens on Second Amendment rights.”

“We are delighted with the outcome of this lengthy case,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The extremes to which the city has gone in an attempt to narrow its compliance with the Supreme Court ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago can only be described as incredible stubbornness. In the 6½ years since the high court ruling in our McDonald case, the city has had ample opportunity to modify its regulations. Instead, Chicago has resisted reasonableness.

“We had already sued Chicago successfully to knock down its outright ban on gun ranges within the city,” he recalled. “Then they adopted new regulations that included the zoning, distancing and age restrictions that we contested in this legal action, known as ‘Ezell II.’

“The city tried to severely limit where shooting ranges could be located, and they failed,” he continued. “The city put up arguments about the potential for gun theft, fire hazards and airborne lead contamination, and they failed. Even the judge’s opinion today noted that the city had ‘produced no evidentiary support for these claims beyond the speculative testimony of three city officials.’ This nonsense has got to stop

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The “nonsense” Gottlieb speaks of is well-documented on the Chicago Tribune website this morning. From the Associated Press article:

Chicago has suffered a string of defeats in its efforts to restrict guns, which top officials have cited as a major reason for a sharp rise of violence in the city.

The U.S. Supreme Court forced the city to rewrite its firearms ordinance in June 2010, which had banned the ownership of guns in the city. In response, the city came up with an ordinance outlawing the sale of firearms in the city.

A judge ruled in 2014 the city’s ban on gun shops violated the Constitution.

Chicago imposed a blanket ban on shooting ranges in 2010. The Court of Appeals struck down the ban in 2011, prompting the city council to pass ordinances accomplishing the same thing. The Second Amendment Foundation and others took the city to court over the ordinances in 2014.

Sounds like City Hall could really use a refresher course on the U.S. Constitution.

Plus, how much more of the taxpayer dime was blown on this latest anti-Bill of Rights legal activity?

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (


Associated Press. “Appeals court rules restrictions to gun-ranges in Chicago are unconstitutional.” Chicago Tribune. 19 Jan. 2017. ( 19 Jan. 2017.


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Chicago’s Gun ‘Control’ Fetish Costing City Big Bucks

If I still lived in Chicago, I’d be livid at City Hall the way those guys keep pissing away hard-earned taxpayer dollars challenging litigation in defense of gun rights.

How many dollars? Recently, over $1.5 million.

From the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action website on July 11:

Check, Please! Chicago Once Again Learns an Expensive Lesson About the Second Amendment

While litigants generally bear their own costs in the American legal system, certain provisions of federal law allow parties who prevail in “proceedings in vindication of civil rights” to be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees. NRA has once again used these provisions to recoup attorney’s fees from the City of Chicago. You would think that Chicago’s disarmament-focused politicians would have learned their lesson after being court ordered to pay NRA over $600,000 in legal fees for work done by NRA attorneys on McDonald v. City of Chicago. Nevertheless, Chicago has once again been court ordered to pay NRA’s legal fees, this time $940,000 for work on Illinois Association of Firearm Retailers v. City of Chicago (formerly Benson v. City of Chicago). That case challenged the prohibition on lawful gun sales within the city. As noted earlier this week, this brings Chicago’s recent total for NRA legal fees to over $1.5 million.

That’s a lot of cash, even to politicians who are spending their constituents’ money. Still, the city’s new push to keep gun dealers away through over-regulation may well indicate that its aldermen and its mayor, Rahm Emanuel, remain willing to spend even more taxpayer funds to support even more symbolic and ineffective gun control.

“May well indicate?” Try “indicate.” Here’s what Mayor Emanuel had to say after the Chicago City Council passed what critics says is a de factor ban on gun stores in the city (special-use zoning would keep gun stores out of 99.5 percent of Chicago) late last month. Don Babwin of the Associated Press wrote June 25:

Emanuel, while not welcoming a lawsuit, suggested it was important to pass the toughest ordinance possible whether or not it prompted a legal challenge.

“You have to do what you think is right,” he said.

Easy to say- and do- such things when it’s other people’s money on the line.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (

(Editor’s note: Permission granted to reproduce NRA-ILA article)


Babwin, Don. “Chicago City Council passes strict gun store law.” Associated Press. 25 June 2014. ( 15 July 2014.


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Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Legal No Comments

Chicago To Fight Gun Sale, Transfer Ban Ruling?

Supporters of gun rights scored a big victory in Chicago yesterday, continuing to undermine gun “control” efforts pushed by former Mayor Richard M. Daley and current Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The Associated Press reported this morning:

A federal judge on Monday overturned Chicago’s ban on the sale and transfer of firearms, ruling that the city’s ordinances aimed at reducing gun violence are unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang said in his ruling that while the government has a duty to protect its citizens, it’s also obligated to protect constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. However, Chang said he would temporarily stay the effects of his ruling, meaning the ordinances can stand while the city decides whether to appeal…

So is Mayor Emanuel and the City of Chicago going to appeal the ruling of Judge Chang, an Obama appointee?

Dahleen Glanton and Jason Meisner reported on the Chicago Tribune website today:

Roderick Drew, a spokesman for the city’s Law Department, said in a written statement Monday that Mayor Rahm Emanuel “strongly disagrees” with the judge’s decision and has instructed city attorneys “to consider all options to better regulate the sale of firearms within the city’s borders.”

So here’s a question Chicagoans might want to ask City Hall before a potential appeal is filed:

Seeing that all this stems from a 2010 lawsuit filed by three Chicago residents and an association of Illinois firearm dealers, how much, if any, is the City already on the hook for when it comes to the victors’ legal bills?

I seem to remember a certain check for $399,950 being coughed up by the City of Chicago to pay the Second Amendment Foundation for their legal costs in fighting the city’s handgun ban in the U.S. Supreme Court case of McDonald v. City of Chicago.

Followed shortly thereafter by a check for $663,294.10 to the National Rifle Association for their attorney fees related to the lawsuit.

Enquiring minds want to know…

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (


“Chicago gun sale ban unconstitutional, judge rules.” 7 Jan. 2014. ( 7 Jan. 2014.

Glanton, Dahleen and Meisner, Jason. “Judge scraps Chicago’s ban on retail gun shops.” Chicago Tribune. 7 Jan. 2014. (,0,7182171.story?page=1). 7 Jan. 2014.


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Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Legal, Self-Defense No Comments

Cook County To Be Slapped With Two Lawsuits For New Gun Tax?

It took only two days before word of a lawsuit being filed against Cook County, Illinois, was out after the county’s Board of Commissioners voted 16 to 1 last Friday to approve Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s $2.95 billion budget for 2013- and a new $25 per-gun “violence tax” on firearm purchases.

Make that two lawsuits.

As regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know, one of the podcasts I like to listen to is Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk radio show, which I named a “Resource of the Week” back in July of last year.

I happened to be listening to Sunday’s show while driving to Oak Park, Illinois, this morning (oh the irony!) when Gresham, a nationally-known firearms expert and radio/television host, introduced Richard Pearson, Executive Director of the Illinois State Rifle Association (a gun rights advocacy organization and state affiliate of the National Rifle Association), and the two started talking about this new tax. From the exchange:

PEARSON: I believe that there’s at least two lawsuits being drawn up against the County of Cook, and so I think that those will go forward. I can’t say a lot about those yet. But I believe those will be going forward sometime after the new year.

GRESHAM: Okay. So we can’t talk about it but we know something is going to happen here.

PEARSON: Something’s going to happen.

GRESHAM: Something’s going to happen (chuckling).

Two lawsuits. Wonder how much those are going to cost Cook County taxpayers should the county lose in court?

That infamous $399,950 check recently drawn-up by the City of Chicago, “signed” by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and delivered to a gun rights group as reimbursement for legal fees incurred in the McDonald v. Chicago case- which the City of Chicago lost– might be a clue.

The podcast with Richard Pearson can be found on the Gun Talk website here.

More information about the ISRA can be found on their website here.


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Monday, November 12th, 2012 Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Legal, Taxes No Comments

Proposed Cook County ‘Violence Tax’ Revised, Lawsuit Threat Remains

“Legal challenge.”

Those are the words I’m hearing these days as it relates to the proposed “violence tax” on purchases of firearms and ammunition by Cook County (Illinois) Board President Toni Preckwinkle. The Chicago Democrat presented her 2013 budget proposal for the nation’s second most populous county back on October 18.

Whoa! This just in from Hal Dardick over on the Chicago Tribune website a short while ago:

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today dropped plans for a five-cent bullet tax, but still wants to charge a $25 tax on every gun purchase.

The compromise was negotiated over several days with Commissioners John Fritchey and Edwin Reyes, both Chicago Democrats, who had balked at the guns and ammo taxes.

In exchange for their support, Preckwinkle agreed to create a $2 million fund to combat gun violence. Fritchey had proposed dedicating $1.4 million to anti-gun violence efforts. She also agreed to exempt law-enforcement officers from having to pay the tax, which helped convince Reyes to support the plan.

I wonder what Chris “Million Dollar Tax Per Bullet” Rock would say about the change?

I know what he’d say.

Now, as I was saying- lawsuit.

Not only would I not be surprised to hear about one being filed by pro-Second Amendment forces should this tax on guns go on the books (the revision won’t make a difference in their eyes), but also that Cook County ends up paying out more than what’s collected through this scheme to blame law-abiding residents for the actions of criminals.

To give you an idea just how much Cook County taxpayers could be on the hook for because of this proposed tax, one needs only to look at the $399,950 check recently written by the City of Chicago to a gun rights group as reimbursement for legal fees incurred in the McDonald v. Chicago case… which the City of Chicago lost.

According to that Chicago Tribune piece, the newly-revised “violence tax” is projected to bring in only $600,000 into the County’s coffers.

I suspect it would be a lot less than that if the tax is implemented, as common sense dictates residents would just go outside the county to buy a gun.

And the $25 per gun tax is still a business killer, as many, if not all, of the 40-plus gun shops in the county will pack up and move due to their colleagues outside Cook County being able to price their firearms $25 less right off the bat.

There goes much needed sales tax at a time when firearm sales are booming- no pun intended.

And don’t forget the gun shop owners/employees, who will no longer contribute to the local economies around their stores once they leave for greener pastures.

Despite this new revision to President Preckwinkle’s proposed “violence tax,” I suspect pro-Bill of Rights groups are still itching to take Cook County on in the courts.

If I were the County, I’d keep my checkbook someplace handy.

And prepare for taxpayer wrath.


Dardick, Hal. “Preckwinkle drops bullet tax, keeps gun tax.” Chicago Tribune. 31 Oct. 2012. (,0,3962662.story). 31 Oct. 2012.


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Open Letter From Colleen Lawson, McDonald V. City Of Chicago Plaintiff

The Chicago crime buffet is over, we are not prey

-Colleen Lawson, plaintiff, McDonald v. City of Chicago

The other day I happened to read an open letter posted on my neighbor’s Facebook page. This wasn’t just any old letter from some random Chicagoan. In fact, there’s a good chance you might have heard of her. I’m talking about Colleen Lawson, a 51-year-old hypnotherapist who ended up being a plaintiff in McDonald v. City of Chicago after she became personally-interested in gun rights after her home was broken into one afternoon by three men while she was home sick with the flu. In case you’re not familiar with the McDonald case, in June 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the Second Amendment protects the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms no matter in which city or state one resides. Handgun bans, like those that existed in the City of Chicago and the Village of Oak Park, Illinois, became unconstitutional with this decision.

Lawson wrote the following “open letter” on her Facebook page this past Monday:

Dear Legislator:

Could you please help me decide which of my kids lives to save? Here’s the problem:

Last night yet another of my kids found himself on the goodbye end of a robber’s gun as the robber slowly counted down

“5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . ”

I know you politicians told us “if it saves one life, then keeping guns away from law-abiding citizens is the right thing to do!” but I’m having a little trouble figuring out which life is the one to be saved. I’ve had most of these kids for 20 years or more, and I’m rather fond of them all.

My kid last night? It was his third time facing armed robbers in Chicago, in Illinois. Can you tell me how many times is just right and how many times is too many?

You can read her entire letter here on the website of the Illinois State Rifle Association, which she is a member of and to whom she gave permission to reprint her Facebook entry in its entirety.



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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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