After nearly six months on the drawing board, plans are beginning to emerge on rules Chicago will impose on gun stores who want to sell firearms to residents of the city.
According to a report obtained by CBS Chicago, the city government lead by Mayor Rahm Emmanuel will impose strict zoning requirements that would ban gun stores from within 500 feet of a school or park and force them to videotape all sales. The rules are intended to keep so-called “straw purchasers” from buying guns for crooks, city officials say.
“There is no question it will be the smartest, toughest regulation on gun stores in the country,” Janey Rountree, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff for public safety, told CBS Chicago. “It’s designed to prevent gun trafficking and illegal sales in these stores.”
The gun store plan is in response to a court ruling in January that found the city’s ban on firearms retailers was unconstitutional. Mayor Emmanuel chose not to fight the ruling but instead to set up a restrictive web of rules that make opening a gun store difficult. Washington, D.C., and New York City have imposed similar rules in the past, virtually squeezing out all retail gun sales.
Chicago gun stores will be banned from about 99.5 percent of the city and will be forced to get approval from local law enforcement on the security measures they provide to keep their inventory from falling into the wrong hands, the CBS story says. Stores would also have to keep a log of any guns sold from the store that are later picked up at crime scenes.
The new ordnances are included in a report from city officials on the growing gun violence problem in Chicago, which has seen over 700 shootings since January. City officials are blaming part of the violence on Chicago’s “large gun market,” the CBS report says.