Judge: Chicago's ban on gun sales unconstitutional

Associated Press Published:

CHICAGO -- A federal judge on Monday overturned Chicago's ban on the sale of firearms, ruling that the ordinances aimed at reducing gun violence are unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang said in his ruling that while the government has a duty to protect its citizens, it's also obligated to protect constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. However, Chang said he would temporarily stay the effects of his ruling, meaning the ordinances can stand while the city decides whether to appeal.

In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Chicago's long-standing gun ban. And last year, Illinois legislators were forced by a federal appeals court to adopt a law allowing residents to carry concealed weapons in Illinois, the only state that still banned the practice.

Chang wrote that the nation's third-largest city "goes too far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions and lawful sales of firearms."

Chicago, which last year had more homicides than any city in the nation, still has an assault weapons ban.

City officials have long acknowledged the ban on gun sales has been ineffective, because sales are legal in some surrounding suburbs and states.

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AP reporters Michael Tarm and Tammy Webber contributed to this report

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