Chicago Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel is taking another crack at heavily regulating firearms in Chicago after a federal court ruled an outright ban on gun sales was illegal: Requiring gun dealers to videotape sales.
Under a plan Emanuel is preparing to introduce, gun dealers would videotape the sales “to discourage traffickers and buyers who use false identification,” according to a report from the city detailing the specifics of the ordinance.
In addition, the proposal would require a 72-hour waiting period for purchasing handguns and 24 hours for rifles and shotguns. A dealer would be able to sell only one handgun per month per buyer, and the store records would be subject to quarterly audits to discourage trafficking.
If a business license is revoked for failing to follow the law, “former key employees and managers cannot reopen immediately in the same location.”
It’s unclear to what extant the rules would curb Chicago’s gun violence, since many of the weapons used in crimes find their way into the city from stores in the suburbs, in Indiana or in southern states.
But it is important for Emanuel to be seen as taking the situation seriously, especially in certain largely African-American neighborhoods that are among the city’s most violent and where support for Emanuel has fallen because residents are frustrated by the city’s response to the shootings.
Emanuel has also said he would require special-use zoning that would prohibit gun stores near “schools and areas like that,” and make it impossible for gun dealers to hang out their shingles in much of the city.
U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang ruled in January that it was unconstitutional for the city to ban gun sales. Chang said the city failed to convince him that banning the sale of guns by licensed dealers was necessary to reduce gun violence.
It was Emanuel’s latest setback while fighting in court to reverse rulings favoring gun rights advocates, and he said then that he wasn’t interested in “litigation for the purpose of litigation.”
After Chang gave Emanuel six months to come up with new rules, gun rights advocates expressed skepticism that whatever regulations the mayor designed would go far enough in allowing sales in the city.
If recent history is any guide, gun backers will challenge him in court. That’s what unfolded after the Emanuel administration put together a new set of rules to allow gun ranges in Chicago after a federal judge’s 2011 ruling that overturned the city’s ban.
Those rules allowed firing ranges only in industrial areas at least 1,000 feet away from a school, a church, a playground or a day care center. The regulations also included noise restrictions.
Gun rights advocates said the standards were designed to discourage firing range owners from locating in the city. The City Council loosened the rules, but opponents said they’re still unduly onerous. The case remains in court.