Gun owners are claiming a major victory in Chicago after the city council recently voted to abolish a gun registry in place since 1968. The move to eliminate the registry comes two months after the Illinois legislature passed a historic concealed carry bill and several months after a federal appeals courts struck down the state’s previous ban on concealed carry as unconstitutional.
According to Reuters, the city council voted on the matter during a Wednesday meeting that also saw the elimination of Chicago firearm permits. Previously, these permits allowed Chicago residents to possess handguns, which were heavily limited in the city before 2010. Gun owners applying for the permit had to undergo a background check, training course, and pay a $100 fee.
For decades, Chicago gun owners were required to register firearms with the city. Before the introduction of the firearm permit, possession of handguns was almost impossible due to fact that handguns could not be registered, unless they were subject to a grandfathering clause. In 2010 the city changed its stance on handguns by allowing firearm permits. Even so, the city kept a strict watch on the sale of firearms within its boundaries.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been a staunch supporter of gun control, especially after rulings from federal courts that sought to end the city’s long-standing policy of isolation in the face of state and federal gun laws.
“I happen to think the court’s wrong. I think their interpretation is wrong,” Emanuel said after the council vote.
Gun owners, however, marked it as another victory for the Second Amendment in Illinois.
“We’re glad the Chicago firearm registration is gone,” said the executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, Richard Pearson.
The New York Times reports that Chicago’s gun registry contains information on more than 8,000 gun owners and 22,000 firearms.
“It was just harassment of law-abiding gun owners, and that’s all it was ever meant to be,” Pearson said.