Circuit Nixes Chicago’s Anti-Gun Range Ordinances
– April 2, 2017
- Once again Rhonda Ezell has triumphed over the City of Chicago in her battle to
defend the Second Amendment rights of all Chicagoans. This is the second time
that Ezell v. City of Chicago has gone before the Seventh Circuit Court of
Appeals and the second time the Second Amendment rights of law abiding Chicago
gun owners have prevailed.
The case has its roots in McDonald v.
Chicago, the landmark Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decision
upholding the Second Amendment right of an individual to "keep and bear
arms" for personal protection. The Illinois State Rifle Association and
the Second Amendment Foundation sponsored the litigation on behalf of several
Chicago residents, including retiree Otis McDonald. The case clarified the
earlier District of Columbia v. Heller SCOTUS ruling which gun control
advocates claimed only applied to the District of Columbia.
The City of Chicago was forced to drop its
Draconian gun law and allow law abiding citizens to own a handgun. It then proceeded
to pass ordinances that required handgun registration and a five hour training
program including one hour of live fire experience with a certified instructor
at a gun range. The City of Chicago also had an ordinance banning run ranges.
Rhonda Ezell is a Chicagoan who has
difficulties traveling outside the city not only to purchase a firearm, but to
receive appropriate training and meet the City’s range proficiency
demonstration requirements. The Illinois State Rifle Association partnered with
Ezell to help her challenge the City of Chicago’s ban.
In 2011, in a 3-0 ruling, the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed a lower court ruling and ordered
that court to issue a preliminary injunction preventing the City of Chicago
from banning gun ranges inside city limits.
In response, the City of Chicago lifted
its gun range ban and passed ordinances that were so stringent it de facto
prevented a gun range from being opened within city limits. It barred shooting
ranges within 100 feet of another range or within 500 feet of any district that
is zoned for residential use or planned residential use, or any preexisting
school, day−care facility, place of worship, liquor retailer, children’s
activities facility, library, museum, or hospital. Additionally, it prohibited anyone under age
18 from entering a shooting range.
Ezell v. City of Chicago went back to
court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals again found in favor of Ezell
and struck down the unrealistic City of Chicago requirements imposed on
prospective gun ranges.
“Ezell is one of the most cited cases by
judges returning pro-Second Amendment decisions. It is the gift that keeps on
giving,” Don Moran, president of the ISRA said. In fact, the Illinois State
Rifle Association has been a major driving force throughout these and other
challenges to the Second Amendment rights of Illinoisans. The ISRA has a
long-standing tradition of providing legal expertise and financial support to
bring civil action against those that would restrict the Second Amendment
rights of all Illinoisans and particularly those who may not otherwise be able
to afford to take legal action. Additionally, the ISRA maintains a staff of
five lobbyists in Springfield working constantly to prevent the enactment of
anti-Second Amendment legislation and offers professional quality training
programs open to the public.
For over a hundred years the ISRA has
aggressively pursued its three-fold mission: Education, legislation and
litigation. For over 60 years the ISRA has been supporting Illinois gun owner’s
Second Amendment rights. Please help the ISRA continue its fight to help you by
making a donation today.
For further information, to join the ISRA
or to make a donation go to: isra.org