CHICAGO (STMW) — A man filed a lawsuit Thursday claiming that his constitutional right to bear arms was violated when he was denied a Chicago firearm permit.

Shawn Gowder claims that he lives in a high crime area of Chicago and wished to keep a handgun in his home for self-defense, according to a lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. He already holds a state firearm owner’s identification card.

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The suit claims that he filed Nov. 1, 2010 for a city firearm permit but was denied by the city’s Department of Administrative Hearings because he had a 1995 misdemeanor conviction for possessing a firearm on a public street. Gowder has never been convicted of a felony, according to the suit.

Gowder contested the decision claiming that denying a permit based solely on a prior misdemeanor conviction violated his fundamental right to keep and bear arms under the second and fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution, according to the suit.

The suit claims that Gowder received a decision in the mail affirming the earlier denial.

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The three-count suit seeks a reversal of the decision and an order to the Chicago Police to issue Gowder a firearm permit. The suit claims judicial review, declaratory judgment and injunctive relief.

The suit also names the city of Chicago, Scott Bruner, director of the city’s Department of Administrative Hearings, the Chicago Police and its superintendent Jody Weis.

The suit seeks attorney’s fees, court costs, and other relief.

A spokesperson for the city’s legal department was not immediately available for comment.

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