The City Council of Chicago has agreed today to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s ordinance which allowed gun ranges to operate in the city, but with restrictions.
Chicago and nearby cities have been trying to pass gun control legislation, with Morton Grove successfully started to ban sale, transportation, and ownership of handguns in 1981. Other cities followed the ban.
However, the 28-year-old handgun ban in the city was overturned at the Supreme Court. Chicago residents were allowed to obtain a Chicago Firearm Permit once they complete the required training.
The gun ranges in the city, however, remained banned and those who wish to obtain the permit had to travel to a suburban city for training. Fox News reported that only 3,500 out of 100,000 who signed up for the Firearm Owner ID obtained one. The difficulty, which created “a cost-prohibit barrier to getting a gun permit”, invited a legal challenge.
In response to this, Mayor Emanuel proposed ordinance that would allow gun ranges within the city.
“Swift and decisive action from the City Council was essential to preserve the gun-control and safety elements of the ordinance,” said Mayor Emanuel in a press statement. “The action taken by the council today ensured that gun ranges in Chicago will be regulated as part of a thoughtful plan that is focused on the safety of all Chicagoans.”
There are, however, restrictions.
Gun ranges in the city would be confined to the areas zoned for manufacturing. In addition, they would have to be no closer than 1,000 feet of a school, park, place of worship, day care center, liquor store, library, museum, hospital, or residential district. Ranges were also forbidden to operate before 9 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
The National Rifle Association was not thrilled with the restrictions.
“This is protected constitutional activity. If the city wants to continue to deny it, as they have with their revised gun ordinance, then obviously they haven’t learned anything from court rulings and our tenacity,” said the NRA Illinois liaison Todd Vandermyde.