In the wake of a ruling by a federal judge that Chicago’s ban on gun sales was unconstitutional, the Emanuel administration says it will ask the court for a 6-month delay before gun sales are permitted in the city.
U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang said Monday that while the government has a duty to protect its citizens, the city’s ban on firearm sales was a restriction on the right for citizens to keep and bear arms for self-defense.
Through a statement, the mayor said the city needed the time to develop and enact a new ordinance to regulate the sale of firearms.
“Though I fully disagree, the City has little option but to follow the ruling of the Court. I’ve instructed the Law department to work with public safety experts and community leaders to create a comprehensive set of restrictions on the sale of firearms to ensure that illegal guns don’t find their way into the hands of criminals or straw purchasers,” Emanuel said. “We owe it to the children, families and residents of Chicago to do everything possible to protect public health and safety and keep illegal guns off our streets.”
No mention was made in the release of an attempt to repeal Monday's ruling.
The latest setback is part of a long-running legal battle waged by Chicago and successive mayors to restrict access and sales of firearms within the city limits.
In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Chicago’s 1982 gun ownership ban, considered the strictest in the nation. This weeks ruling focused more specifically on gun sales and the right of individuals to transfer ownership of a firearm as a gift or through a private sale.