The new rules require stores within the city to videotape all gun sales, require gun owners to allow the police to review their records, restrict buyers from purchasing more than one gun within a 30-day period, and finally restrict gun shops from opening within 500 feet of schools and parks.
The ordinance was drafted after a federal judge ruled earlier this year that Chicago’s ban on gun stores is unconstitutional and told the city it had six months to come up with regulations for them. This ruling follows a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that invalidated the city’s handgun ban and a 2012 federal appeals court ruling that said Illinois’ ban on concealed weapons was unconstitutional.
Ahead of the June 25 vote, City Clerk Susana Mendoza read a resolution from the mayor and Alderman Emma Mitts in memory of the late Dr. Betty Howard, 58, who headed the special education department at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep Academy High School in the Roseland neighborhood.
Howard was fatally shot in the head at a real estate office near 79th Street and Evans Avenue around 5:30 p.m. on May 29, where she held a second job and was dropping off paperwork. While standing inside the office chatting with coworkers, bullets from what appeared to be a gang altercation outside pierced the walls of the building, striking Howard and two other people.
“She became one of the latest victims of the scourge of firearms violence,” said Mendoza, reading from the resolution. “Dr. Howard’s death was almost inconceivably senseless.”
Alderman Ed Burke echoed those sentiments and said Howard’s death brought into focus the reality of gun violence the citizens of Chicago face. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said these new gun store regulations were “tough, smart and enforceable.” And officials said the videotaping of customers would help curb the sale of guns by “straw purchasers,” customers who legally buy guns and sell them to people who are not legally allowed to buy and possess firearms. Authorities claim those transactions are why Chicago police seize so many illegal guns.
Meanwhile, Second Amendment advocates like the Illinois State Rifle Association say the new rules are the city’s attempt to create an environment where gun stores are still more or less banned while also appeasing the federal judge who ruled against the city. Because of this, the city could face a lawsuit regarding its new rules.