Prospective gun owners in D.C. now are required to take training courses that include spending one hour on a firing range and several hours in a classroom learning about gun safety. They also must pass a 20 question test based on D.C.’s firearm laws.
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says he’s encouraged by what he sees in D.C. and vows not go down without a fight.
“We’re not going to roll over,” Daley told The Associated Press.
While he and city officials would not say specifically what plans they have in mind if the Supreme Court rules against the city next week, observers say that a ruling favorable to Chicago gun rights supporters will lead to a new round of legislation — and lawsuits.
“Just like they did in Washington, D.C., the city of Chicago is going to try to make it as difficult and discouraging as humanly possible to keep people from having guns in their homes for personal protection,” said Dave Workman, spokesman for the Bellevue, Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation.
Since the ban was lifted in D.C., just over 800 guns have been registered in city. The relatively low total comes as the district passed the slew of new requirements that also include being fingerprinted and taking ballistic tests, which could help police track bullets back to specific guns if needed.
“The Supreme Court tore down the wall, and D.C. built up 95 percent of it again,” said Richard Gardiner, who is suing the district over the new laws on behalf of Dick Heller, the plaintiff in the original case.
Daley is one of the nation’s most vocal gun control advocates, and has a reputation for wielding his power. And he has a reason to stay tough: while the city’s murder rate has dropped in recent years, but it is still one of the highest in the country.
Washington, D.C.’s police chief, Cathy Lanier, said the city has “yet to have a case where someone was about to be the victim of a crime where someone pulled a handgun and saved themselves.” However, that isn’t the case in Chicago, and many say that could provide the motivation for more people to purchase guns if a ban is lifted.
Source: Don Babwin and Jessica Gresko for AP News.