A judge on President-elect Donald Trump’s shortlist of potential Supreme Court nominees just struck down three Chicago gun laws which made it harder for residents to learn proper firearm handling techniques.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit Judge Diane Sykes did away with a trio of harsh restrictions on gun ranges enacted by officials after a court struck down the city’s total ban on ranges in 2011.
Under the scheme struck down in 2011, city officials were working to make it as hard as possible for law-abiding residents to own guns by requiring permit holders to undergo training at gun ranges which they’d outlawed in the city limits.
After a court ruled that they couldn’t prohibit ranges outright in McDonald v. Chicago, the Chicago officials passed regulations making it difficult for ranges to open by stipulating that they couldn’t be placed within 500 feet of residential districts, schools, or places of worship or within 100 feet of one another.
As Judge Sykes pointed out in her ruling this week, that meant that gun ranges would only be permitted to open in 2.2 percent of the total available space within the city.
“This severely limits Chicagoans’ Second Amendment right to maintain proficiency in firearm use via target practice at a range. To justify these barriers, the City raised only speculative claims of harm to public health and safety. That’s not nearly enough to survive the heightened scrutiny that applies to burdens on Second Amendment rights,” she ruled.
Judge Sykes also struck a city ordinance making it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to enter a shooting range, a rule Chicago officials justified by claiming U.S. minors are not protected under the 2nd Amendment.
“That’s an extraordinarily broad claim, and the City failed to back it up. Nor did the City adequately justify barring anyone under 18 from entering a range,” the judge ruled. :”To the contrary, its own witness on this subject agreed that the age restriction is overbroad because teenagers can safely be taught to shoot and youth firearm instruction is both prudent and can be conducted in a safe manner
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