Chicago lawmakers have approved a new gun control law that restricts handgun purchases to one per month, requires a waiting period before a gun is obtained, and mandates that all gun sales be videotaped.
The new ordinance comes on the heels of a federal court ruling that deemed it unconstitutional for the city to ban all gun sales.
The city which has some of the most stringent gun laws in the nation and some of the highest gun violence rates was given until July 14 to draft new regulations which coincide with the judge’s order. Instead of simply revoking the gun ban deemed as an infringement upon Second Amendment rights, Chicago officials decided to “craft rules that comply with the court order, yet still make it nearly impossible to buy a gun within city limits,” the Chicago Business Journal reported.
The new gun control ordinance requires a 72-hour waiting period before the purchase of handguns and a 24-hour waiting period to buy a shotgun or a rifle. Gun stores will soon be required to keep extensive records pertaining to gun purchases and the documents will be inspected quarterly.
“The courts have ruled we had to do this so we did it and I think it’s a common sense approach,” said Chicago Council Public Safety Committee Chair Alderman James Balcer. “It is well-crafted and it’s good.”
Alderman Ameya Pawar agreed and called for other towns in the area to pass more restrictive ordinances on firearms transactions.
“I want to know why the county isn’t stepping up?” she asked. “Why aren’t they here? Why aren’t they introducing a similar ordinance? It’s easy to throw darts at Chicago and say we’ve got a gun problem and we’ve got a murder problem when the guns are coming from outside Chicago.”
Those opposed to the new gun ordinance are quick to note that the vast majority of the gun violence committed in the city stems from illegal guns.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is the driving force behind the new gun control law, the newspaper reported. The ordinance follows Emanuel’s May proposal to utilize zoning laws to prevent gun stores from opening within 500 feet of a park or school. According a Chicago Sun Times report, the new zoning restrictions will prevent gun stores from opening in 99.5 percent of the city.
Before the doors open, gun store owners would also be subjected to a police inspection and approval of a security plan. The security plan will include an outline that incorporates surveillance camera use, alarm systems, exterior lighting, and impacts how weapons and ammo are stored.
If the Chicago mayor’s plan is enacted as he devised, any violation of the new gun control ordinance will result in a license revocation and the business would be barred from opening in the same spot for three years.
According to a gun violence report compiled by the mayor’s office, the University of Chicago Crime Lab researchers and law enforcement officials, the rate of murders involving guns was 13.4 per every 100,000 people in the city. In New York City the gun-related murder rate per 100,000 people was 3.8 and in Los Angeles, 5.9. The report also maintained that 60 percent of guns recovered from crimes between 2009 and 2013 came from out of state.
“There is no question it will be the smartest, toughest regulation on gun stores in the country,” said Emanuel’s deputy chief of staff, Janey Rountree. “It’s designed to prevent gun trafficking and illegal sales in these stores.”
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