Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Judge Strikes Down Part of City Handgun Ordinance

Der-Yeghiayan's ruling said the ordinance barring him from getting a permit was “unconstitutionally void for vagueness”

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Judge Strikes Down Part of City Handgun Ordinance

Police say this handgun was recovered next to the body of Carl Lastorino.

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Former mayor Richard Daley fought hard for a gun ban in Chicago. 

And he lost when the Supreme Court struck down his legislation. 

In response, the city and its lawyers and politicians created an ordinance that made it extraordinarily difficult to actually own a gun in Chicago, even though it was legal. 

On Tuesday, a U.S. District judge struck down a portion of that ordinance and cleared the way for prior firearm offenders to obtain a permit to own a gun, the Sun-Times reports.  

Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan issued a 30-page ruling Shawn Gowder who said the Chicago ordinance was unfair. 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. 

Gowder has an Illinois Firearm Owner's Identification Card, but the City of Chicago denied his application for a local permit because the ordinance passed after the Supreme Court ruling struck down the handgun ban barred a person from obtaining a Chicago firearm permit if that person had been convicted “in any jurisdiction” of an “unlawful use of a weapon that is a firearm.”

He was stuck because it's illegal to own a gun in Chicago without a permit. Catch-22. 

Der-Yeghiayan's ruling said the  ordinance barring him from getting a permit was "unconstitutionally void for vagueness," according to the opinion. 

"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. “The same constitution that protects people’s right to bear arms prohibits this type of indiscriminate and arbitrary governmental regulation."

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