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City Council Approves Gun Ranges Within City Limits

By aaroncynic in News on Jul 6, 2011 4:30PM

Gun enthusiasts looking to fire off rounds locally will no longer have to travel to the suburbs, according to a new plan pushed forth by Mayor Emanuel. On Tuesday, the City Council approved an ordinance fast-tracked to allow gun ranges within the city limits, a response to two federal lawsuits challenging Chicago’s ban on gun ranges. Last year’s overturning of the handgun ban carried a stipulation that prospective gun owners must go through training. However, Chicago gun owners would have to travel to the suburbs currently, since gun ranges are banned within the city.

According to the Sun Times, the new ordinance would allow ranges, but confine them to manufacturing areas and prohibit them within 1,000 feet of a school, park, day care, house of worship, residential district, liquor store, etc. The ranges would also be allowed to sell ammunition, but only for use at the facility. A license to operate a range would cost $4,000 every two years.

While this effectively gives the option to gun enthusiasts and firing range entrepreneurs to shoot in the city, rather than travel to the suburbs, the proposed ordinance is apparently too restrictive for some. Walter Maksym, who sued the city for those who wanted to sell guns in Chicago, told the Tribune “It’s a step in the right direction, a recognition that the original ordinance would not stand up to scrutiny, but it doesn’t go far enough.” Meanwhile the NRA said “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.”

While we might not be sure if the $4,000 price tag is fair for owning a range or not, we are relatively certain we don’t mind firing ranges keeping a safe distance from schools or our homes.