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Ruling opens new gun market in Chicago

Published January 7, 2014 10:24 pm

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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Chicago • A federal judge has potentially opened a new market to gun dealers after ruling as unconstitutional Chicago ordinances that aim to reduce gun violence by banning their sale within the city's limits.

U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang said Monday 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. But Chang said he would temporarily stay the effects of his ruling, meaning the ordinances can stand while the city decides whether to appeal.

In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Chicago's long-standing gun ban. Last year, Illinois legislators were forced by a federal appeals court to adopt a law allowing residents to carry concealed weapons; it was the only state that still banned the practice. The resulting law largely stripped officials in the city and surrounding Cook County of their authority to regulate guns, which especially irked officials in Chicago, where residents had to apply for concealed-carry permits through the police superintendent.

National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde applauded Chang's decision, saying it "shows how out of step and outrageous Chicago's ordinances really are."

Roderick Drew, a spokesman for Chicago's law department, said Mayor Rahm Emanuel disagrees with Chang's ruling and has instructed the city's lawyer to consider options to regulate gun sales.