Federal Court Rules In Favor Of SAF In Challenge To Chicago Gun Regulations.
BELLEVUE, WA —-(Ammoland.com)- Last week a three-judge panel of the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals,handed the Second Amendment Foundation a victory in its challenge of firearms regulations in the City of Chicago.
Striking down a zoning provision, reversing an earlier ruling that upheld “distancing” restrictions for gun ranges, and reversing an earlier ruling that upheld certain age restrictions.
Writing for the court, Judge Diane S. Sykes noted, “To justify these barriers, the City raised only speculative claims of harm to public health and safety. That’s not nearly enough to survive the heightened scrutiny that applies to burdens on Second Amendment rights.”
“We are delighted with the outcome of this lengthy case,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The extremes to which the city has gone in an attempt to narrow its compliance with the Supreme Court ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago can only be described as incredible stubbornness. In the 6½ years since the high court ruling in our McDonald case, the city has had ample opportunity to modify its regulations. Instead, Chicago has resisted reasonableness.
“We had already sued Chicago successfully to knock down its outright ban on gun ranges within the city,” he recalled. “Then they adopted new regulations that included the zoning, distancing and age restrictions that we contested in this legal action, known as ‘Ezell II.’
“The city tried to severely limit where shooting ranges could be located, and they failed,” he continued. “The city put up arguments about the potential for gun theft, fire hazards and airborne lead contamination, and they failed. Even the judge’s opinion today noted that the city had ‘produced no evidentiary support for these claims beyond the speculative testimony of three city officials.’ This nonsense has got to stop.
“Today’s ruling is a victory for citizens of Chicago who want to exercise their rights,” Gottlieb said, “and particularly for Rhonda Ezell, who has been steadfast in her resolve.”
Also on the panel with Judge Sykes were Judges Michael S. Kanne and Ilana D. Rovner.
Comments by Alan Gura:
“As the Seventh Circuit’s opinion recounted, the city failed to submit any evidence in support of its wild claims about gun ranges, and indeed, the city’s witnesses admitted the laws were irrational. The result should not have been surprising. Chicago’s police and government ranges do not spontaneously combust, spew toxic waste, or cause crime, and neither do the countless indoor gun ranges that safely serve the public throughout other American cities. Chicagoans should be concerned about the cost of these legislative tantrums, which only harm public safety by impairing people’s access to critical safety training and education. City resources would be better spent improving policing and addressing the root causes of crime.”
About Second Amendment Foundation
The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.