Emanuel to Propose New Gun-Control Ordinance

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.

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.

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.

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