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City Council OKs Ban On Guns At Bars, Restaurants; End To City Gun Registry

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Chicago aldermen have backed an ordinance that would require bars and restaurants to post signs similar to this one, banning concealed firearms on the premises. (Credit: CBS)

Chicago aldermen have backed an ordinance that would require bars and restaurants to post signs similar to this one, banning concealed firearms on the premises. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Though aldermen acknowledged they expect the city will be sued for it, the City Council on Wednesday approved a measure to circumvent part of the state’s concealed carry law, and effectively ban guns at any business that serves liquor.

The state law allowing Illinois residents to carry concealed firearms prohibits guns in bars and other businesses that get more than 50 percent of their sales from liquor, but restaurants and other businesses that get less than half their revenue from alcohol would be able to choose whether to allow guns on their property.

However, aldermen have approved an ordinance that essentially would take away that choice.

The measure would require any business that serves booze to post signs banning guns on the premises. Those that don’t comply would lose their liquor license.

The National Rifle Association has argued the ordinance violates the state’s concealed carry law. NRA lobbyist said the concealed carry law gives the state the sole authority to regulate where people can carry firearms in public.

Ald. Edward Burke (14th), who co-sponsored the ordinance, said a law firm has offered to represent the city for free if and when it is sued over the ordinance.

Current and retired police officers, and owners of businesses that serve booze would be exempted from the ban. Liquor stores and other businesses that sell packaged liquor, but do not serve it, also would be exempt.

Aldermen also approved a measure eliminating a 45-year-old requirement that Chicago gun owners register their firearms. It also would weaken a requirement that guns at home be secured with child-safety locks – by requiring such locks only when someone younger than 18 is in the home, unless the owner is carrying the firearm.

Another ordinance approved Wednesday would increase the penalty for illegal possession of a firearm within 100 feet of public buses or trains, bus shelters, train stations, or other public transportation facilities.

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