Jerry Delaney listens to speakers during an Organizing for Action rally against gun violence in Chicago, April 13, 2013. 
John Gress/Reuters

Judge rules Chicago’s gun ban is unconstitutional

A federal district court judge ruled on Monday that Chicago’s gun ban was unconstitutional.

Judge Edmond Chang found that the city’s “blanket ban” on guns, which passed in 2010 and outlaws the sale and transfer of guns, violated the constitutional rights of gun owners. The ruling would allow licensed gun stores to operate in the city and make it legal for individuals to transfer gun ownership as a gift or a private sale, provided the recipient was 18 or older and had a fiream owner’s ID card.

Chang said that the ordinance would not reduce gun violence in a city that is often referred to as the “murder capital” of the U.S. Chang added that the city had not demonstrated how allowing gun sales would present a “genuine and serious risk” to safety. 

“Chicago’s ordinance goes too far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions and lawful sales of firearms,” the judge wrote in a 35-page brief.

“The stark reality facing the City each year is thousands of shooting victims and hundreds of murders committed with a gun,” Chang added. “But on the other side of this case is another feature of government: certain fundamental rights are protected by the Constitution, put outside government’s reach, including the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense under the Second Amendment. This right must also include the right to acquire a firearm.”

Chang said he would temporarily delay the effects of the ruling to allow the city time to appeal. 

The ruling came one day after Illinois began accepting applications from residents who want to carry concealed firearms in public. Last year, the city amended its laws on carrying guns in public and on the number of guns allowed in a home.

Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, had more homicides than any city in the nation last year, with a total of 506 homicides in 2012. Despite having the highest number of total murders, Chicago does not have the highest homicide rate in the country and is not on the list of top 10 among U.S. cities. 

Chicago and Gun Policy

Judge rules Chicago's gun ban is unconstitutional