Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Emanuel to Propose New Gun-Control Ordinance

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Emanuel wants to make gun licenses harder to come by after another violent weekend that killed two teen boys. Last week a federal judge shot down a handgun ordinance which paved the way for past firearm offenders to own a gun, which preacher and activist Father Michael Flager finds upsetting considering the rash of violence. Natalie Martinez reports. (Published Monday, Jun 25, 2012)

    Chicago officials are getting fired up for another try at a city gun ordinance they hope will get approved in court.

    After a federal judge last week struck down part of the city's handgun ordinance, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday is expected to introduce a revised ordinance to the city council.

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    Chicago currently has a ban on gun permits for anyone previously convicted of unlawful use of a gun.

    On Tuesday, a U.S. District judge struck down that portion of the ordinance, clearing the way for prior firearm offenders to obtain a permit to own a gun.

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    Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan issued a 30-page ruling saying the ordinance barring Shawn Gowder from getting a permit was "unconstitutionally void for vagueness."

    Gowder had been convicted in Illinois in 1995 in for unlawful possession of a firearm, which, at the time, was a felony. The law that made his possession a felony, however, was challenged, and his crime was downgraded to a misdemeanor.

    "There is something incongruent about a non-violent person, who is not a felon, but who is convicted of a misdemeanor offense of simple possession of a firearm, being forever barred from exercising his constitutional right to defend himself in his own home in Chicago against felons or violent criminals,” Der-Yeghiayan wrote.

    Emanuel is expected to propose legislation that would made a distinction between felony and misdemeanor violations. The proposal would permanently ban anyone convicted of a felony violent crime and put a five-year ban on anyone convicted of a misdemeanor violent crime.