The National Rifle Association is claiming victory today after the Chicago City Council tentatively approved a rewrite of the city’s onerous gun laws that were passed in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the McDonald v. Chicago case (2010), which effectively overturned Chi-Town’s ban on handguns.
While the full City Council will officially vote on the changes on Wednesday, it’s believed that they’ll stick because of the state’s recently passed concealed carry law, a “shall-issue” statue that allows law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms in public provided they pass a background check, pay a $150 fee and take a 16-hour firearms training course.
NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde called it a “great day for gun owners” in the Windy City.
“Mayor Daley’s pinnacle handgun ordinance after the loss in the McDonald decision is now, for all intents and purposes, gutted,” Vandermyde said.
“The Chicago firearms permit requirements are gone. The registration of all firearms, for the first time in my lifetime, are gone. Those are some significant developments.”
Though, Vandermyde admitted that the battle is not over just yet, as the city still bans laser sights, metal-piercing bullets, magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammo and certain semiautomatic rifles with distinctive cosmetic characteristics or so-called “assault weapons.”
We “have some more work to do, we’ll get to that, but this is a good first step,” noted Vandermyde.
During the proceedings there was a spat between Vandermyde and Alderman Edward M. Burke over another ordinance that will remain unchanged, the city mandate that requires gun owners to secure their weapons with trigger locks or in safes if the firearm is “not on their person” and they have someone under the age of 18 in the home.
“Do you think a 75-year-old woman should be forced to carry her .38 around on her hip in her home every minute she’s in her home because the grandkids are there?” Vandermyde asked.
Burke, the author and sponsor of the trigger-lock ordinance responded, “So you’re against an ordinance that mandates, if you have a gun in your house, it ought to be secure. …You oppose an ordinance that tries to increase safety in the homes in Chicago?”
Vandermyde fired back, “We don’t oppose safety measures by and large. But we see these as being impediments to the lawful use of self-defense. For 30 years, your city did not allow somebody to have a handgun in their own home for self-defense.”