“Rahm Emanuel has some blood on his hands,” said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, in a statement. “He and the city council have done everything possible to prevent law-abiding Chicago residents from exercising their restored Second Amendment rights in the two years since the Supreme Court’s landmark McDonald ruling.”
In June 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against a handgun ban in the city of Chicago in McDonald v. Chicago.
But just four days after the Supreme Court decision, the Chicago City Council adopted the Responsible Gun Owners Ordinance which, among other restrictions, requires prospective gun owners to take a firearm safety course at a gun range in order to obtain a permit to own a gun in a home. At the same time, the city council’s decision placed a virtual ban on gun ranges in the city.
In Chicago, there have been 470 murders within its city limits in 2012, as of Dec. 2, a 19 percent increase in homicide from 2011, when there were 394 murders.
Those numbers are from the Chicago Police Department’s city wide crime statistics report, covering up through Nov. 25. Further reporting from Chicago media places the number of murders in Chicago at 485 as of Dec. 2.
According to the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago City Council have been putting up blockade after legal blockade to keep Chicagoans from obtaining handguns and the range-training as stipulated to defend themselves, with the result being that law-abiding Chicagoans are defenseless.
“At the same time, however, the [Responsible Gun Owners] Ordinance prohibits all ‘[s]hooting galleries, firearm ranges, or any other place where firearms are discharged,’” states a 2011 appeals court challenge, Ezell v. Chicago, to the gun-range restriction in Chicago.
“The Ordinance also prohibits the ‘discharge [of] any firearm within the city,’ making no exception for controlled shooting at a firing range -- because, of course, firing ranges are banned throughout the city,” the opinion continued.
In a telephone interview with CNSNEws.com, Gottlieb, who is on the Board of the SAF, explained what happened after the Ezell ruling.
“So they came back with a new law that says, ‘okay, we can have gun ranges. We are going to put on these regulations on the gun ranges,’” he explained.
“And they put these regulations on so that nobody could afford to operate a gun range in the city of Chicago because of the requirements put on the range, as well as the fact that, as an example, they had to be in an industrial zone part of the city and the noise ordinance for the gun range was less than anybody else operating in the industrial area,” said Gottlieb.
The new law makes it “next to impossible” to be a gun owner in Chicago, he said.
“They’ve done it all on purpose so there would be no gun range,” said Gottlieb. “The people of Chicago still couldn’t get a permit to have a gun in their own home because they couldn’t get the range training in the city. They’d have to find some place outside the city of Chicago to go get the range training, which makes it next to impossible for residents of Chicago, many of which don’t even own cars living in their city.”
When asked what the Second Amendment Foundation’s reaction to the Chicago murder statistics were, Gottlieb said he was not surpised.
“We’re not surprised by the statistics, but basically what the mayor of Chicago has done is kept Chicago to be a victim disarmament zone,” said Gottlieb.
“So nobody has a way to protect themselves from the bad guys who obviously don’t care about the gun laws -- are going to commit murder or rape or robbery because you don’t care about what the gun law says, you’re going to get the gun illegally anyway -- and so the good people are penalized by the law and the bad people, basically have targets of opportunity to shoot at,” he said.