Court Sides With SAF On Key Points In Challenge of Chicago Gun Range Law

A federal judge has sided with the Second Amendment Foundation on key points of an on-going legal action against the City of Chicago that challenges the city’s municipal code regarding gun ranges inside the city.

The case, Ezell v. City of Chicago, challenged the city’s code by asserting that the regulations involving installation and operation of gun ranges inside city limits are burdensome. In a 32-page decision, U.S. District Court Judge Virginia M. Kendall concurred with SAF’s positions on the city’s zoning and requirements regarding hours of operation. SAF had earlier defeated the city’s total ban on gun ranges in 2011.

“While SAF did not get complete relief with Monday’s ruling,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “our persistence in this issue, coupled with effective litigation, caused the city to actually repeal many of the rules we challenged, even before the court could address them. That’s an indication the city knows there were problems with the code as written, and it demonstrates that when an in-depth analysis of gun laws is undertaken that requires proponents to prove those laws would be effective, they can’t.”

“Every day on which Chicago loses some of its unconstitutional laws,” observed attorney Alan Gura, who represents SAF in this litigation, “is a better day than the one before. This latest decision brings Chicago that much closer to the rest of America, where responsible, law-abiding people can practically access gun ranges for safety training and recreation. We are studying our options for improving this positive outcome.”

In her ruling, Judge Kendall noted that Chicago police officials “admitted that they had no data or empirical evidence that any criminal impact would occur due to the presence of a firing range, or that it would be lessened by placing ranges in manufacturing districts.” Indeed, plaintiff’s expert Lorin Kramer “testified that he was unaware of any location throughout the country where crime increased as a result of a gun range in that location.”

SAF is also represented by attorney David Sigale. Additional plaintiffs are Rhonda Ezell, for whom the case is named, plus Joseph Brown, William Hespen, Action Target, Inc., and the Illinois State Rifle Association.