Court Strikes Down More Chicago Range Restrictions

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posted on October 10, 2014
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The city of Chicago's most recent attempt to limit law-abiding gun owners from conveniently obtaining the training required to qualify for concealed-handgun-carry permits has been rejected by a federal court. The Sept. 29 ruling struck down portions of Chicago's shooting range regulations that limited the operation of shooting ranges to areas zoned for manufacturing and restricted the hours of operation. The restrictions were enacted after the city's original outright ban of shooting ranges inside the city limits was overturned by the court in a legal challenge earlier this year.

To comply with state statutes for carrying concealed weapons, Illinois citizens must pay a fee and take mandatory training at a gun range. In Ezell v. Chicago, Chicago gun owners and gun rights groups challenged the regulations on the grounds they burdened the installation of a range and therefore violated their Second Amendment right to acquire and maintain proficiency in the use of firearms. Other provisions of the city's municipal code, including business operations restrictions and range construction requirements, were also challenged in the case, but were upheld by the court as being minor burdens on the Second Amendment.

In her ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Virginia M. Kendall noted that Chicago police officials "admitted that they had no data or empirical evidence that any criminal impact would occur due to the presence of a firing range, or that it would be lessened by placing ranges in manufacturing districts." Further, plaintiff's expert Lorin Kramer "testified that he was unaware of any location throughout the country where crime increased as a result of a gun range in that location."

On July 9, 2013,Illinois became the 50th state to enact a law permitting concealed carry of firearms for personal protection by law-abiding citizens when lawmakers voted to override a veto by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

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