Chicago not done fighting if court strikes gun ban
CHICAGO (AP) — If the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Chicago's handgun ban, the city will likely do what Washington, D.C., did when its own ban was overturned two years ago: Put in place all sorts of regulations and restrictions to make it tougher to buy guns and easier for police to know who has them.
"We're not going to roll over," Chicago Mayor Richard Daley told The Associated Press.
Daley and city officials would not say specifically what plans they have in mind if the Supreme Court rules against the city next week. But what's obvious to pretty much everyone involved is that a ruling favorable to Chicago gun rights supporters will lead to a new round of legislation — and lawsuits.
"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," said Dave Workman, spokesman for the Bellevue, Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation.
He can count on it.
Since the ban was lifted in D.C., just over 800 guns have been registered in city. The relatively low total comes as the district has passed a slew of new requirements such as training, a test for prospective gun owners and ballistic tests for the guns they buy.
"The Supreme Court tore down the wall, and D.C. built up 95 percent of it again," said Richard Gardiner, who is suing the district over the new laws on behalf of Dick Heller, the plaintiff in the original case.
Another reason Chicago will likely follow D.C.'s lead is Daley himself. The mayor is one of the nation's most vocal gun control advocates and has shown a willingness to wield his substantial power.
For example, a few years ago he ended the debate over whether a small airport along Lake Michigan should be turned into a park as he wanted by dispatching bulldozers in the middle of the night to carve huge X-shaped divots in the runway.
Daley will be even more motivated to act now. For one thing, while the city's murder rate has dropped in recent years, it is still one of the highest in the country. Also, the possible lifting of the ban comes at time when residents could be eager to arm themselves.