A federal judge has ruled Chicago's blanket ban on handgun sales and transfers unconstitutional.
In a 35-page opinion published Monday, Judge Edmond E. Chang says the 2010 ordinance, which bans the sale and transfer of virtually all firearms within city limits “goes too far in outright banning legal buyers and... dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions and lawful sales of firearms.” (Via WMAQ and CLTV)
Judge Chang delayed his ruling from taking effect immediately so as to allow the city time to appeal the decision.
According to the Illinois Association of Firearm Retailers, Chicago-area gun dealers could have their stores open before the end of 2014, Chicago Sun-Times reports.
In a joint statement with the law department and city council, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel "strongly disagrees" with the decision, claiming the city “need[s] stronger gun safety laws, not increased access to firearms.” (Via WFLD)
The ruling is the latest in a series of legal blows to the city's efforts to restrict access to firearms and limit gun ownership within the city.
In a 5-4 decision in 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the city's ban on gun possession. (Via Voice of America)
And Illinois recently became the last state to permit concealed carry. WTTW reports more than 11,000 residents statewide have already applied for a permit since they were first able to on Jan. 5.
CNN reports Chicago's aggressive push to curb violence proved to be relatively successful in 2013.
After Chicago reported 500 homicides in 2012, last year the city saw its lowest murder rate since 1967, while overall crime dropped by about 25 percent. There were 415 homicides in 2013.
The judge did not rule out other possible restrictions the city may enact on the sale of firearms, but said it must stop short of the complete ban it had previously. The city has not yet announced whether it will appeal the decision.
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