Chicago approves new handgun restrictions

Grumbling about a U.S. Supreme Court they say is out of touch with America’s cities, Chicago aldermen voted 45-0 today to approve a rushed-through compromise gun ban.

The law, weaker than the gun ban tossed out Monday but with some even stronger new provisions, allows adults in Chicago to buy one gun a month, 12 a year, but they must pay registration and permit fees and take five hours of training.

Within 100 days, anyone who wants to keep a gun in the city will have to register, get their training and pay the fees. Also within 100 days, any of the estimated 10,000 Chicagoans convicted of a gun offense will have to register at their local police station like sex offenders.

Police Supt. Jody Weis said that new list of where criminals live in Chicago will help police do their jobs: “Armed with knowledge is our greatest asset,” Weis said.

Chicago’s ban was the nation’s strictest. While New York City, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and other cities have adopted some of the provisions Chicago enacted today, Mayor Daley and his city attorney Mara Georges did not dispute that these gun restrictions are probably the nation’s “most comprehensive.”

The aldermen did not hold back their contempt for the five members of the U.S. Supreme Court who threw out the city’s gun ban Monday.

“No Supreme Court judge could live in my community and come to the same conclusion they did a couple days ago,” Ald. Sharon Denise Dixon (24th) said.

“I find it hard to believe that the Supreme Court justices that voted to strike our handgun laws have spent any time in the communities that many of us represent,” Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) said.

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