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Emanuel Gun Shop Ordinance Includes Videotaping Sales, Restricting Locations

By Chuck Sudo in News on May 27, 2014 4:00PM

Photo Credit: Damian Dockery

With weeks to spare, details are beginning to emerge regarding how gun shops within Chicago’s city limits would operate. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is proposing and ordinance that would require gun shop owners videotape sales and limit where in the city shops would be located.

The ordinance would restrict gun shops from operating in all but a handful of pockets of the North, South and West sides of the city through special-use zoning and not be within 500 feet of a school or park. Gun shop owners would be subject to quarterly audits of their sales, allow their records to be audited by police, and have a Police Department-approved security plan in place before they can operate. The ordinance would also require all gun sales to be videotaped to deter “straw” purchases of firearms by people with no criminal records for others who can’t hold a Firearm Owner Identification Card (FOID). Dealers would be limited to sell one handgun per month per buyer and there would be a 72-hour waiting period for all handgun purchases and 24 hours for rifles and shotguns.

Janey Rountree, Emanuel’s deputy chief of staff for public safety, calls the proposed ordinance “the smartest, toughest regulation on gun stores in the country.”

“It’s designed to prevent gun trafficking and illegal sales in these stores,” Rountree added.

The restrictions also indicate Emanuel is doing the bare minimum to comply with a January court ruling granting the Emanuel administration six months to draft guidelines allowing gun sales within the city limits. U.S. District Court Judge Edmond E. Chang ruled that Chicago’s 2010 handgun ordinance, which was already ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, overreached in banning sales of firearms within the city limits, city attorneys failed to prove the ban was fundamental to reducing gun violence in Chicago and that while government is obligated to protect its citizens it also has to protect constitutional rights.

Todd Vandermyde, the National Rifle Association’s chief lobbyist in Illinois, would not comment on the ordinance but he was on record saying Chang’s ruling for the city to draft guidelines was too long. One can only assume Vandermyde won’t be happy with the restrictions on where gun shops can operate.