First Gun Permits May Take Four Months

Chicago's new gun ordinance now in effect

By Jenel Nels
|  Monday, Jul 12, 2010  |  Updated 3:16 PM CDT
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Even though it is now legal for Chicago residents to own a handgun for personal protection, it could take up to four months to get the Chicago Firearms permit they need, according to police officials.

Police superintendent Jody Weis says the necessary background checks will keep the department's registration department busy. "We don't know how many applications were are going to get," Weis said Monday.

Under the new ordinance, the department will have to process applications in 45 days after the first six months

So far, CPD says it has had more than 75 inquiries about the new law. Suburban gun shops say they've been getting calls too. Don Mastriani of Illinois Gun Works says his phone has been ringing off the hook. His Elmwood Park gun shop also does the training new gun owners will need. To get a Chicago firearms permit, owners will need to prove they have had at least four hours of classroom training and an hour on the gun range.

The city's new gun ordinance went into effect today.

The ordinance allows gun owners to buy one handgun after obtaining a Chicago firearm permit. To obtain the permit, residents must take five hours of weapons training and agree to keep guns inside their home, not on porches, garages or outside decks and stairs.

The new law also bans gun shops in Chicago. 

The city calls the new law reasonable, but gun advocates say it violates the Second Amendment.

"The second amendment guarantees a right to keep and bear arms. The city appears to read it as a right to keep arm, dropping the bear and dropping the arms," said Eugene Kontorovich, Associate Professor at  Northwestern University Law School.  

People found guilty of violent crimes or people with two or more convictions of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol do not qualify for the city gun permit.

The city acknowledges the ordinance goes further than any other city in the country.

It is already facing some legal challenges.

A man who wants to open a gun shop in Chicago filed a lawsuit filed in response to the ordinance. Like a previous lawsuit by four Chicagoans and gun sellers group, this one filed by a suburban Chicago gun dealer Joe Franzese argues the new ordinance is unconstitutional.

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