In response to a federal judge’s ruling in January that Chicago’s ban on guns is unconstitutional due to its violation of the Second Amendment, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is suggesting an ordinance that would limit where firearms are sold and implement a videotaping of every sale made. Chicago has until July 14th to approve of store restrictions, and is currently moving in the direction of the village of Grayslake, Illinois, who’s long since been preparing for its own shift toward approving the sale of firearms.
Under Emanuel’s ordinance, gun stores would be kept out of 99.5% of the city, and would be limited to specific zones on the North, West, and South Sides and at least 500 feet away from schools and parks. Aside from special-use zoning, quarterly audits of gun sales would have to be administered by storeowners, and police would have permission to investigate their records. Stores would be required to prepare a safety plan that details exterior lighting, surveillance cameras and alarm systems, and keeps track of both storage and ammunition. Background checks on employees would be enforced, as well as fingerprinting and training that prepares for identification of potential gun traffickers.
Emanuel is also requiring stores to keep a log of gun sales that tie back to firearms recovered in a crime scene, which would aid employers in identifying likely gun traffickers, and putting forward the idea that Chicago gun stores can only sell one handgun a month to a buyer. Once a store’s business license is revoked due to violations of the ordinance, it could not reopen at the same location for a minimum of three years.
In Grayslake, if an amendment to the village’s zoning ordinance passes at its next board meeting, retail gun and ammunition shops will be allowed in business zones and light industrial areas. While Grayslake has its own regulations that are distinguishable from those of Chicago, when it comes to the zoning ordinance, sales function in a similar vain and are not permitted to occur within 500 feet of public or private schools, parks, libraries, houses of worship, of liquor license holders, nor in home businesses.
With Grayslake being an hour drive away from Chicago, and taking the measures that foreshadow Chicago’s next move with regards to the sale of firearms, it becomes apparent that Chicago has taken more than a few steps toward the opening of an official gun shop since Concealed Carry was passed last July. It appears that the proposed ordinance has locked down on regulations that manage both site and sale; however, taking steps to expand the gun market of a city with a murder rate surpassing the combined rate of New York and Los Angeles’s remains a valid cause for unease among Chicagoans. July 2014, exactly a year after the passing of Concealed Carry, will be very telling of the future of Chicago and the subsequent role guns will play in the time ahead.