CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago man is suing the city and the Chicago Police Department for denying him the right to legally own a gun in the city.
As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, LaFarena Batchelor said he doesn’t want money, just his Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Batchelor says he fought to defend the Second Amendment while serving his country in World War II and the Korean War.
Now, the 84-year-old former Navy man says he’s being forced to fight the government, even though for years he fought hard to protect it.
“They’re treating me like I am a criminal,” Batchelor said.
That’s because, in May, he applied for a Chicago firearm permit so that he can legally own a gun to protect himself in a neighborhood where police are often called.
But Batchelor said that permit was denied by the City of Chicago, because 15 years ago, he fired his gun in his yard to scare away two dogs that had invaded his yard.
“I thought the dogs were gonna bite me or maybe even kill me,” he said.
Batchelor pleaded guilty and paid a $50 fine, but based on that 1996 conviction, the city denied his application for a firearm permit.
Batchelor said he fears that could make him a victim.
“If you live in a home alone, you’re more apt to be bothered, you know? You’re more vulnerable,” he said.
Batchelor said he’s been assaulted and his home has been vandalized. His attorney said that denying Batchelor the right to hold a gun leaves him defenseless in a dangerous neighborhood.
“He’s the type of person that we want to have guns in their homes. He’s not some gangster,” attorney Joel Brodsky said. “And for the city to prevent him from getting, having a gun is just simply ludicrous.”
Brodsky said Batchelor’s Constitutional rights are being violated, so he plans to pursue the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if needed.
Officials with the city’s Law Department said they are reviewing Batchelor’s lawsuit, but they said it is appropriate for individuals who have been convicted of illegally possessing or using guns to be ineligible to obtain a permit from the city.