Speaking With Rhonda Ezell of Ezell v. The City of Chicago And Chicago Guns Matter

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- Rhonda Ezell is the founder of Chicago Guns Matter and the lead plaintiff in the historic court case of Ezell v. The City of Chicago.

Ezell v. The City of Chicago is one of the three most important Second Amendment cases of this century. After the courts struck down a Chicago ordinance prohibiting possession of handguns in McDonald v. The City of Chicago, Rhonda Ezell, decided to get a gun.

Ezell took all the required classes and had to do a one-hour practical shooting class. The only issue is that the city banned shooting ranges. Seeing this as a violation of her Second Amendment rights, she sued Chicago and won. The city then tried to add so many zoning restrictions on shooting ranges that it would be a de facto ban. Rhonda once again went to battle against the city and once again won, making it legal for gun ranges to open in the Windy City.

Rhonda continues to battle for Second Amendment rights in Chicago and beyond. Not only did she start Chicago Guns Matter, but she is also a member of the DC Project. The DC Project is 50 women from 50 states that each year makes their way to DC to lobby Congress for gun rights.

I had a chance to interview Rhonda on my Podcast and also spoke to her for AmmoLand. We talked about her battles against gun-grabbing politicians and the current state of our country.

John: What made you sue Chicago?

Rhonda: I sued the City of Chicago because, after the McDonald vs. Chicago Supreme Court victory, the city of Chicago said if you want to own a firearm, you must get training. The city had an ordinance in place that mandated firearm training, yet the city prohibited gun ranges at the same time, which was a clear violation. As I was complying with the new rules and regulations, I found myself traveling 50+ miles outside of the city to do so. I spoke with my state organization, the Illinois State Rifle Association, told them about all the shenanigans I went through, they did a bit of homework on it, found out it was a violation of my rights, and Ezell vs City of Chicago was born.

John: Did you think you would win?

Rhonda: I had a great feeling that we would win because I knew that if they mandated the training, and there wasn't a gun range, how did they expect the citizens to get the necessary training they needed. It didn't make sense to me, and I know it didn't make sense to my attorneys, or anyone else involved with the case.

John: What groups helped you in your lawsuit?

Rhonda: The Second Amendment Foundation was instrumental in my case as well as our cases from Chicago Guns Matter. The Illinois State Rifle Association and Action Target were our co-plaintiff as well, and soon as we get someone on board and willing to invest in building the first brick and mortar gun range in Chicago, I will for sure be reaching out to them.

John: Why did you start Chicago Guns Matter?

Rhonda: We started Chicago Guns Matter so that we could to get the word out to the black and urban community and educate them on the cases, and who the plaintiffs are by putting faces to the cases. We wanted to make sure that we weren't just a household name in the Second Amendment community. It's our job to reach the community that has been lagging behind as far as exercising their Second Amendment rights.

John: What is the mission of Chicago Guns Matter?

Rhonda: It's not about Chicago being safer with more or fewer guns. It's knowing that one has a fundamental right to self-defense, and that you are your own first responder, and that you are responsible for your own safety. The Second Amendment doesn't pick and choose which cities can exercise their right. The Second Amendment is for everyone, including the citizens of the City of Chicago.

John: Do you think Chicago would be safer with more guns?

Rhonda: It's not about Chicago being safer with more or fewer guns. It's knowing that one has a fundamental right to self-defense, and that you are your own first responder, and that you are responsible for your own safety. The Second Amendment doesn't pick and choose which cities can exercise their right. The Second Amendment is for everyone, including the citizens of the City of Chicago.

John: Chicago is known for having corrupt politicians. Is that stereotype true?

Rhonda: Absolutely, the City of Chicago has a long history of corruption, the city is actually the number one corrupted city in the nation, and the state of Illinois is the third corrupted state in the country, and it could easily be second. We can take a look at how things are playing out right now during this crisis, the corruption in Chicago is still alive and well.

John: You are a part of the DC Project. What is that?

Rhonda: Yes, I am, the DC Project is a Second Amendment initiative of women from every state going to Washington DC to speak with our legislators as gun owners. We strongly believe in education over legislation. You can't legislate away evil. The DC Project has also started at the local level, with a state leader in every state. If you are a woman, and you are ready to be proactive in exercising your rights, and you want to make a difference, please join us.

John: The anti-gun movement tries to portray all gun owners as white, middle-aged men who are probably racist. Have you had to explain that is not the case to anyone? If so, what was their reaction?

Rhonda: I've spoken about this issue several times. I had an interview once and was asked this very question. I simply stated that the Second Amendment is not just for old white men wearing plaid shirts. It's not a Republican right. It's not a Democrat right. It's a right for ALL Americans. When they speak on race, as far as who and what gun owners are, I say look I own a gun, and I have a ton of friends that do as well, then I tell them about the work we've done to restore rights.

John: How can we expand gun ownership in the black communities?

Rhonda: If you really want to expand gun ownership in the black community, you have to invest financially. It's going to take for the more prominent 2A organizations, firearm companies, and manufacturers, magazine writers, etc…to network, market, and promote black gun ownership with their product. Make sure that they have a place to go to get firearm safety training. It's time to get some billboards out around the country with the faces of black gun owners. It's time to send a strong message to the people. They need to see that we are here, and we must make it normal.

John: Anything else you want our readers to know?

Rhonda: I would like the world to know that we, Chicago Guns Matter, has put in a ton of work fighting for the rights of all Americans, gun ownership is not limited to one group of people, the Second Amendment is for everyone. Right now two of the three cases that are cited in current Second Amendment cases moving the Second Amendment rights forward for eternity, have black lead plaintiffs., Mr. Otis McDonald, and myself, Ms. Rhonda Ezell. If you want to continue to enjoy your freedoms, get involved, and be proactive in getting racist gun control laws off the books. Support your fellow gun owner, help promote each other so that the message is heard loud and clear. Make sure you take someone new to the range, and introduce them firearm safety, continue to educate, and always send a positive message.

Readers can check out the work Rhonda is doing by checking out http://chicagogunsmatter.org/ and https://dcproject.info


About John CrumpJohn Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.

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Tek_180
Tek_180
27 days ago

All guns matter.

Deplorable Bill
Deplorable Bill
27 days ago

Great, there really is someone with some sense left in Chi town. Good for her. Good for the constitution and good for the nation.

Arm up, carry on.

PMinFl
PMinFl
27 days ago

Good for her, she’s doing many many people a favor by taking the lead and fighting the corrupt system. THANK YOU