Second Amendement

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 (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Associated Press. “Appeals court rules restrictions to gun-ranges in Chicago are unconstitutional.” Chicago Tribune. 19 Jan. 2017. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-gun-range-restrictions-20170118-story.html). 19 Jan. 2017.

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Highland Park, Illinois, ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban Latest

Back on December 23, 2013, I blogged about the City of Highland Park on Chicago’s far North Shore passing an ordinance banning “assault weapons” within its city-limits at a June city council meeting.

Subsequently, the Illinois municipality was sued for its “assault weapons” ban.

Last week, a federal court rendered a decision on the lawsuit. From the website of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action on May 1:

The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision on Monday allowing a Chicago-area gun and magazine ban to stand. Such bans are justifiable, according to the court, merely on the basis that they “may increase the public’s sense of safety.”

The case, Friedman v. Highland Park, was filed in 2013, and sought to invalidate a city ordinance that banned “assault weapons or large capacity magazines (those that can accept more than ten rounds).” Highland Park was one of several Chicago suburbs that hastily enacted municipal ordinances regulating or banning the possession of “assault weapons” before the state’s 2013 concealed carry law preempted home-rule authority to do so.

This week, in a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel upheld the ban. According to the majority opinion, “A ban on assault weapons won’t eliminate gun violence in Highland Park, but it may reduce overall dangerousness of crime that does occur ….” Remarkably, the majority went on to suggest that even if the ban’s incursion on Second Amendment rights had no beneficial effect on safety whatsoever, it could still be justified on the basis of the false sense of security it might impart to local residents. “[I]f it has no other effect,” the majority wrote, “Highland Park’s ordinance may increase the public’s sense of safety. Mass shootings are rare, but they are highly salient, and people tend to overestimate the likelihood of salient events.”

The majority acknowledged that “assault weapons” can be beneficial for self-defense because they are lighter and more accurate than alternative options and can be wielded more effectively by householders. Yet they quickly threw their own logic aside to reassert the city’s interest in reducing perceived risk over the tangible benefits that that modern firearms provide to their owners. “If a ban on semiautomatic guns and large-capacity magazines reduces the perceived risk from a mass shooting, and makes the public feel safer as a result, that’s a substantial benefit,” the opinion argued.

Judge Daniel Anthony Manion dissented from the majority opinion. Manion forcefully and persuasively argued that the ruling opinion is “at odds with the central holdings in Heller and McDonald: that the Second Amendment protects a personal right to keep arms for lawful purposes, most notably for self-defense within the home.”

He went on to press the point that only individuals “make the ultimate decision for what constitutes the most effective means of defending one’s home, family, and property.” In stark contrast to the majority, Judge Manion was willing to recognize the constitutional dimensions that individual choice makes in the Second Amendment realm, just as it does with other fundamental rights. “Ultimately, it is up to the lawful gun owner and not the government to decide these matters,” he wrote.

Judge Manion’s reminder that when it comes to our fundamental rights, “The government recognizes these rights; it does not confer them,” cannot be overemphasized. Unfortunately, his colleagues refused to uphold their duty to recognize either the right at stake or Highland Park’s violation of it. Rest assured, however, that your NRA will continue the fight to see that injustice corrected.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Robert McCoppin reported on the Chicago Tribune website on April 28:

A federal court Monday upheld Highland Park’s ban on assault weapons — possibly setting the stage for a showdown over the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court…

Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson said he was confident the law could be overturned on appeal to the Supreme Court, but the National Rifle Association would have to decide whether to make a costly appeal.

“The Second Amendment is about the right to keep and bear arms,” Pearson said. “The government doesn’t get to pick the list.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Stay tuned…

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Permission to reproduce this piece granted by the NRA-ILA)

Source:

McCoppin, Robert. “Appeals court upholds Highland Park assault weapons ban.” Chicago Tribune. 28 Apr. 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/highland-park/news/chi-assault-weapons-ban-highland-park-20150427-story.html). 5 May 2015.

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Highland Park, Illinois, Sued For Banning ‘Assault Weapons’

Earlier this year, a number of Illinois municipalities passed “assault weapon” bans.

One of these towns was Highland Park, on Chicago’s far North Shore. From a July 2 press release:

The Highland Park City Council passed an ordinance banning assault weapons within City-limits at the June 24 City Council Meeting, after hearing from many residents, interest groups and individuals offering perspective on all sides of the issue, in writing and in person. The ban, modeled after Cook County’s assault weapons ordinance, would amend Chapter 134 of the City Code. The ordinance was effective July 8, 2013. Residents have 90 days to comply with the provisions set within the ordinance…

Having worked closely with a number of Highland Park city hall staff some years back as the assistant to the mayor of a neighboring town, I remember thinking to myself, “I wonder if those guys are going to miss all that money that could be pissed away in the coming lawsuit.”

Fast forward to the other day, when the Associated Press reported the City of Highland Park is being sued for its new “assault weapons” ban. From the website of Chicago ABC affiliate Channel 7 on December 20:

A gun rights group has filed its first lawsuit against one of the Illinois communities that rushed to pass an assault weapons ban before a state law allowed people to carry concealed weapons in public, and the group strongly hinted Friday that the lawsuit will not be its last.

“I am not at liberty to talk about (other possible lawsuits), but let’s just say we’re always working,” said Richard Pearson, the executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, which joined the lawsuit filed by a Highland Park pediatrician against the well-to-do community north of Chicago. “We are going after them wherever they are.”

In the lawsuit, the rifle association and Dr. Arie Friedman, a pediatrician and owner of semi-automatic weapons, contend that that Highland Park, where Friedman lives, did not have a legal right to ban the weapons that he says he keeps for the lawful purposes of target shooting and self-defense.

Further, the lawsuit suggests that by lumping in the kinds of semi-automatic weapons Friedman owns with fully automatic assault weapons, the ban infringes on the rights of people to possess one of the most commonly owned “sporting rifles” in the United States.

“Ownership of firearms that are commonly possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes … is a fundamental right under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution,” according to the lawsuit…

Legal representatives for the City claim the ban passes constitutional muster.

Obviously, that’s not up to them to decide anymore.

In the meantime, I’m guessing legal fees for time and work spent on the issue will add up while other Illinois towns that enacted regulations/bans on these so-called “assault weapons” nervously monitor how the lawsuit plays out for the Lake County community.

Stay tuned…

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

“Illinois city sued over assault weapons ban.” Associated Press. 20 Dec. 2013. (http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local/illinois&id=9368350). 23 Dec. 2013.

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