The Shoe Drops

As expected, Chicago adopts new ordinance restricting gun ownership.

Four days after the U.S. Supreme Court shot down Chicago's handgun ban, city aldermen on July 2 voted 45-0 to impose new regime of restrictions on gun ownership. Within a week, lawsuits challenging the new ordinance were filed by a man who wants to open a gun shop in the city and four residents.

The lawsuits, filed on July 5 and July 9 in U.S. District Court, claim that the new ordinance violates the right of Chicago residents to keep and bear arms under the 2nd and 14th Amendments. It seeks to have portions of the ordinance declared "null and void" and prohibit the city from enforcing those measures.

The new ordinance, which went into effect on July 12, bans gun shops in Chicago and prohibits gun owners from stepping outside their homes, even onto their porches or in their garages, with a handgun. It allows adults to buy one gun a month, 12 a year, but they must pay registration and permit fees and take five hours of training.

The lawsuits challenges the ordinance's provision allowing residents to have guns inside their houses but not in their garages or on their back porches or outside steps.

The suit also claims that the ordinance violates the Constitution by restricting the number of guns they can own.

Second Amendment Foundation attorney Alan Gura, the lead counsel for Otis McDonald and other plaintiffs in McDonald v. Chicago, said the ordinance "demands careful review" but could have been worse.

"We applaud Chicago for not adopting the unconstitutional insurance and gun-rationing schemes," he said. "Of course, Chicago adopted other measures, not all of which we can approve. This is not a definitive and complete overview, but a sense of where we are."