City Preps For SCOTUS Handgun Ruling
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jun 28, 2010 1:30PM
The City of Chicago is preparing for today's ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States on the handgun ban as the court issues its opinion on McDonald v. City of Chicago. (The city of Oak Park also has its handgun ban at issue with the case.) The City has been preparing for this day for months and, according to one report from the Tribune, if the ban is overturned, the City Council could take action on new local legislation by as soon as Wednesday. Indications are that the Court will come down with a 5-4 decision of overturning the ban, but that's still speculation. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Scalia, Alito, Kennedy, and Thomas were reported earlier this year as favoring the ban, enough for a 5-4 majority. All five justices also voted to overturn a similar ban for Washington D.C. in 2008.
Mayor Daley and company have been looking to D.C., taking note of how that city handled the situation with its ban overturned. D.C. issued new laws that enacted tough restrictions and tests for potential gun owners including hours of training, safety, and time on a shooting range to learn how to handle the weapon. In fact, the new laws are considered by some gun rights advocates to be so similar to the original ban that some have filed suit to have the new laws overturned. There are other proposals on the table, including limits on the number of guns one can own and insurance requirements. Chicago could enact very similar restrictions, especially as gun sales are expected to dramatically increase if the ban is overturned. While specifics of any Chicago plans haven't been announced, Daley told the Associated Press last week, "We're not going to roll over."
Daley has been quite vocal in his anger over the ban's seemingly imminent overturning, which hit a fever pitch last month when he made some colorful remarks to the Reader's Mick Dumke about shoving a rifle "up your butt." Advocates of overturning the ban, however, simply point to the ban's ineffectiveness in curbing violence. While the murder rate is down considerably from its high-watermark 20 years ago, the drop has plateaued in recent years. And already this summer the City has seen abnormally high levels of violence, including dozens of shootings over Father's Day weekend and several more this past weekend, in which at least 26 people were shot with three dead. Dave Workman, spokesman for the Bellevue, Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation, told ChuffPo, "Just like they did in Washington, D.C., the city of Chicago is going to try to make it as difficult and discouraging as humanly possible to keep people from having guns in their homes for personal protection."
The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling early this morning.