Veteran Wants Gun to Protect Himself, His Home

By BJ Lutz and Natalie Martinez
|  Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011  |  Updated 6:16 PM CDT
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LaFerena Batchelor, 84, is frustrated with the dozens of times his far south side home has been vandalized and wants a permit to own a gun. The city won't allow it.

LaFerena Batchelor, 84, is frustrated with the dozens of times his far south side home has been vandalized and wants a permit to own a gun. The city won't allow it.

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At least one World War II and Korean War veteran is no fan of Chicago's restrictive gun laws.

LaFerena Batchelor, 84, is frustrated with the dozens of times his far south side home has been vandalized and wants a permit to own a gun. The city won't allow it.

"If you have a gun in the house, it's a psychological benefit.  People will know you have a gun and they'll have respect for you. You don't have to fire the gun. You don't have to show the gun. But they'll know there's a gun in there, and so they're not going to be disrespecting you by [inaudible] you and trying to come in to kill you," Batchelor said Wednesday after appearing before the city's Department of Administrative Hearings.

Batchelor showed up with police reports detailing his concern, but the city argues that any illegal use of a firearm is cause for revocation.  It doesn't matter how serious the offense is, it's still unlawful, the city maintains.

He once legally owned a gun, but lost his privileges roughly 15 years ago after firing a gun in his backyard to scare a pack of dogs. Since then, he said, there's been incident after incident at his home, including fires, broken windows and other disturbances.

Batchelor's attorney, Joel Brodsky, said his client is being denied his right to protect himself in a dangerous neighborhood.

"He's feeling like the city is making him become a criminal in order to defend himself," said Brodsky.

The judge in the case has three days to make a decision, which she can announce by mail.  Attorneys for the city refused to comment, but Brodsky said he's prepared to push the case to court if his client's request is denied.

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