Mayor Won’t Appeal ‘Straitjacket’ Ruling Against City’s Gun Sales Ban
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Updated 01/09/14 – 1:53 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Despite calling a judge’s ruling against the city’s gun sales ban a “straitjacket” on efforts to keep illegal guns off the streets, Mayor Rahm Emanuel indicated he won’t appeal the decision to a higher court, and is instead asking for time to come up with rules and restrictions for firearms sales in Chicago.
Emanuel said he has ordered the city’s Law Department to ask U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang for six months to come up with ordinances to regulate the sale and transfer of firearms within city limits.
On Monday, Chang ruled the city’s ban on gun sales is unconstitutional, saying the city’s responsibility to protect its residents does not allow it to ignore its obligation to protect their right to keep and bear arms in self-defense.
Chang already had said he would temporarily delay the effects of his ruling to give the city time to decide whether to appeal. He gave the city until Jan. 14 to file a formal request for a stay of his ruling, pending appeal.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the mayor made it clear Thursday he’s resigned to crafting rules and regulations for firearms sales, rather than taking the case to a federal appeals court.
“I’m not interested in litigation for the purpose of litigation. I’m interested in getting public safety for the people of the city of Chicago,” he said.
Emanuel said city attorneys will work to craft an ordinance that will place constitutional limits on gun sales within city limits, in order to keep illegal weapons off the streets.
“We can basically develop a set of policies and ordinances that – within the court’s stricture – allow us to do what we need to do that protects the citizens of the city of Chicago.”
The city’s current laws banning virtually all sales and transfers of firearms in Chicago covers not only licensed firearms shops, but the transfer of firearms from one family member to another.
The mayor was hesitant to give any examples of how the city would limit gun sales under a new ordinance, other than saying the city would keep guns away from schools.
“We can basically develop a set of policies and ordinances that – within the court’s stricture – allow us to do what we need to do that protects the citizens of the city of Chicago,” he said. “We’re going to think about it in a way that, while we have to abide by the straitjacket that the court’s put us under.”
The mayor noted this is one of a series of defeats in recent years for gun control laws in Chicago, and statewide.
In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the city’s ban on owning handguns in Chicago. In 2012, a federal appeals court ruled the statewide ban on carrying concealed firearms was unconstitutional.