July 6, 2011: Ald. James Balcer recommends passage of an ordinance allowing for gun ranges in the city.
Chicago City Council members approved an ordinance Wednesday allowing gun ranges to operate in Chicago under rigid guidelines.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel rushed the ordinance directly to City Council's Public Safety Committee, a shortcut normally used for emergencies. A council committee approved the law Tuesday.
Two standing federal lawsuits could soon receive rulings in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the city wanted an ordinance in place so appellate judges might be less inclined to intervene with a less restrictive ordinance.
Gun owners in the city are currently forced to head to gun ranges in the suburbs to receive gun safety training.
Chicago ranges will only be allowed to operate in areas zoned for manufacturing, only after obtaining a special use permit that requires a public hearing.
Ranges will also be prohibited within 1,000 feet of a school, park, place of worship, day care center, liquor store, library, museum, hospital or residential district.
Gun ranges in the city must be enclosed, and the new ordinance mandates the type of construction in more detail. Ranges will be allowed to operate between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m., and they will be free to sell ammunition only for use at the facility.
Each range will require a license costing $4,000 every two years.