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Plaintiffs in Chicago-Area Lawsuit Assert a "Civil Right" to Force Suburbs to Enact Gun Control Laws

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Plaintiffs in Chicago-Area Lawsuit Assert a "Civil Right" to Force Suburbs to Enact Gun Control Laws

We at the NRA have seen a lot of strange legal theories asserted by gun control advocates over the years, but a lawsuit filed on Tuesday by a group of Chicagoans still managed to distinguish itself in this dubious tradition by asserting that the plaintiffs have a "civil right" to specific forms of gun control. The basis of the lawsuit is a May 27, 2014 "study" published by the City of Chicago entitled, "Tracing the Guns: The Impact of Illegal Guns on Violence in Chicago."

The report finds that a disproportionate number of guns recovered from crime scenes in Chicago from 2009 to 2013 originated at gun shops in the three suburban villages being sued. Of course, it's hardly surprising that most Chicago guns used in crime originated outside the city, as sales of firearms within the city itself (as well as mere possession of handguns) were unconstitutionally banned for much of the reporting period covered by the study.

The complaint in Coalition for Safe Chicago Communities v. Village of Riverdale alleges that the Illinois Civil Rights Act prohibits local units of government from using “criteria or methods of administration” that have "the effect of subjecting individuals to discrimination because of that person's race." The plaintiffs go on to insist that the three Chicago suburbs being sued have violated this provision of law by failing to enact policies for gun dealers that the plaintiffs claim would prevent dangerous guns from reaching criminal hands. This, the plaintiffs argue, has “a disparate and terrible impact on African Americans who live in neighborhoods afflicted by such illegal gun use ….” The plaintiffs also claim that illegal gun use in their neighborhoods leads others in African American neighborhoods “to seek and obtain guns,” including by legal means, which they argue leads to “a high level of disorder and violent crime” that makes their neighborhoods a less desirable place to live.

The plaintiffs request the court to order defendants “to put in place by ordinance or regulation the kind of measures or methods of administration … set forth in the City of Chicago’s own municipal code to replace or supersede the current lax methods of administration or licensing of dealers ….”

It’s a remarkable theory, to say the least, that residents of city have a “civil right” to force other localities to adopt their city’s version of gun control. Even putting aside the broad preemption provisions of Illinois’ Firearm Concealed Carry Act of 2013, which reserve most regulation of firearms to the state, the job of courts when ruling on legislation is limited to determining whether or not it a given activity is constitutionally permissible. It’s not to cherry pick policies from one jurisdiction and force them upon another.

No surprise, the plaintiffs in the suit include antigun radical Michael Pfleger, who cloaks his political activism in the mantel of the Catholic priesthood. Known for highly dramatic publicity stunts, Pfleger infamously threatened to “snuff out” a gun store owner during a public protest in front of his shop. Equally unsurprising, Barack Obama himself once cited the Chicago cleric as among his closest “spiritual advisors.”

Whether or not Pfleger’s latest antics get any traction with the court is likely beside the point. The suit is already being widely covered by the media, which provides yet another opportunity for incessant pontification and holier-than-thou finger-pointing by Chicago’s antigun establishment. Hopefully the court will make quick work of this latest antigun abuse of the legal system, but Chicago’s well-funded antigun circus will no doubt continue.

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Illinois: House Passes Bill for Firearm Surrender Without Due Process

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Illinois: House Passes Bill for Firearm Surrender Without Due Process

On May 23rd, the Illinois state House of Representatives voted 80-32 to pass House Amendment 2 to House Bill 2354 to allow Second Amendment rights to be revoked without due process.  HA 2 to HB 2354 now ...

Massachusetts: Anti-Second Amendment Bills Rolled into Committee Substitute

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Massachusetts: Anti-Second Amendment Bills Rolled into Committee Substitute

On May 23rd, the Massachusetts state House of Representatives will be voting on House Bill 4517, which would allow firearms to be seized from individuals following baseless accusations without proper due process.

Washington: NRA Files Legal Challenge Against Misleading Ballot Title for Gun Control Initiative

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Washington: NRA Files Legal Challenge Against Misleading Ballot Title for Gun Control Initiative

Yesterday, NRA filed a legal challenge in the Thurston County Superior Court objecting to the misleading and inadequate ballot title for Initiative 1639, which seeks to further restrict the Second Amendment rights of Washington's law-abiding citizens.  The Thurston ...

Illinois: Gun Control Bills to be Heard This Week

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Illinois: Gun Control Bills to be Heard This Week

The Illinois state House of Representatives can take action any day on House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 2580 to expand the 72 hour waiting period to all firearms.  On May 24th, the Illinois state ...

Hard Times for Dick's as Second Amendment Supporters Respond to Company’s Anti-Gun Bent

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Hard Times for Dick's as Second Amendment Supporters Respond to Company’s Anti-Gun Bent

We have recently been reporting on the bizarre anti-gun activism of one of the nation’s larger firearm retailers, Dick’s Sporting Goods and its affiliated Field & Stream stores. First, the company announced it would stop selling most centerfire semi-automatic ...

New Jersey Action Needed: Senate Committee Passes Multiple Gun Control Bills

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

New Jersey Action Needed: Senate Committee Passes Multiple Gun Control Bills

Yesterday, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee considered and passed multiple anti-gun measures. 

Washington Times  

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Elizabeth Warren vows to refuse NRA money after never receiving such donations in the past

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has vowed to do something about mass shootings by refusing to accept campaign donations from the National Rifle Association, even though she’s never received any money from the organization in the past.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Illinois: House Considering New Bill to Shut Down Your Gun Store

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Illinois: House Considering New Bill to Shut Down Your Gun Store

Today, the Illinois state House Judiciary-Criminal Committee voted 8-3 to pass Senate Amendment 3 to Senate Bill 337, which would shut down your local gun stores with onerous red tape and regulations.  Governor Bruce Rauner ...

NRA’s Chris Cox to Serve on Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

NRA’s Chris Cox to Serve on Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council

The executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, Chris W. Cox, will represent the 6 million members of the NRA on a newly formed panel that will advise the Trump administration ...

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.