Chicago Has Six Months To Develop Gun Sale Regulations

When Judge Chang granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment in Illinois Association of Firearms Retailers v. Chicago he stayed it so that the city could either appeal or file a motion to stay his decision. Today, he granted Chicago’s motion to stay his motion for six months in order to give the city time to develop new regulations for gun sales and gun stores.

From the Chicago Tribune:

A federal judge today granted the City of Chicago a six-month delay in allowing gun stores to open in the city so that Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration can set up rules and regulations to restrict where the new firearms sellers can hang their shingles.

The extension was expected after Emanuel said last week that he wouldn’t fight U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang’s order in court because he wasn’t interested in in “litigation for the purpose of litigation.” The city has suffered a series of legal setbacks in recent years while fighting in court to reverse rulings favoring firearms advocates.

Chang today agreed to give the city time to put together the regulations. He issued his ruling from the bench today at the Dirksen Federal Building.

The devil will be in the details. I don’t expect Chicago to either make it easy to open a gun store or to conduct a private sale of a firearm. I fully expect them to regulate private sales more stringently than do the State of Illinois or the Federal government. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has instructed the city’s law department to work with community leaders and public safety experts to craft a “comprehensive set of restrictions on the sale of firearms to ensure that illegal guns don’t find their way into the hands of criminals or straw purchasers.” By public safety experts, I’m assuming he means gun control groups.

5 thoughts on “Chicago Has Six Months To Develop Gun Sale Regulations”

  1. What are the odds that, just like last time, they wait six months, then slap together a bill at the very last minute, complaining about the burden the court has placed on them?

    1. @Chase: I wouldn't be surprised in the least if that happens. However, the more haphazard, the more ad hoc it is, the greater the chance that it would be thrown out in court. In Judge Chang's ruling, he talked about how Chicago made claims not supported by research.

  2. 2.5 years after Ezell, there are still no gun ranges in Chicago that I'm aware of…I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a gun store to open.

    1. This. A complete ban is easy to overturn. A complex set of regulations that's actually a de facto ban gets you mired in discovery hell, just as Ezell now is.

  3. I don't see them giving this one up, and I don't buy Rahm's claim to be uninterested in "litigation for the purpose of litigation" (more on that later). I believe they'll use the stay to craft a new set of laws with nearly identical effect, but not an outright ban.

    Here's how I see it going: The court says they can't ban sales, so they change the laws to allow gun dealers to set up shop, but start using the business permit regulations or city zoning regulations to keep dealers from moving in. They might even extend the "Gun Free School Zones" and "Safe Passage Zones" to completely cover the city in a blanket of "Gun Free" areas. In a legal sense, they'll have complied with the letter of the court's ruling, but the overall effect is the same.

    And when it gets challenged and overturned again, they'll find another way, and – contrary to Rahm's claimed disinterest – each litigation/overturn/stay cycle will buy them another 6-12 months. They have nearly unlimited resources (it's not like they're paying their own attorney's fees, or anything), and more importantly, they have the ability to write their own loopholes. Paired with the court's predilection to offer a stay on enforcement until new laws take effect, Chicago will always be a "Gun Free Zone."

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