CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago City Council on Friday approved what city officials say is the strictest handgun ordinance in the United States.
The 45-0 vote came four days after a Supreme Court ruling made it almost certain that Chicago’s handgun ban would be overturned. The high court ruled Americans have a right to own a gun for self-defense anywhere they live.
The new city ordinance bans gun shops in Chicago and prohibits gun owners from stepping outside their homes, even onto their porches or garages, with a handgun. It will take effect in 10 days.
The ordinance also:
— Limits the number of handguns residents can register to one per month and prohibit residents from having more than one handgun in operating order at any given time.
— Requires residents in homes with children to keep handguns in lock boxes or equipped with trigger locks.
— Requires prospective gun owners to take a four-hour class and one-hour training at a gun range. They would have to leave the city for training because Chicago prohibits new gun ranges and limits the use of existing ranges to police officers. Those restrictions were similar to those in an ordinance passed in Washington, D.C., after the high court struck down its ban two years ago.
— Prohibits people from owning a gun if they were convicted of a violent crime, domestic violence or two or more convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Residents convicted of a gun offense would have to register with the police department.
— Calls for the police department to maintain a registry of every handgun owner in the city, with the names and addresses to be made available to police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders.
Those who already have handguns in the city — which has been illegal since the city’s ban was approved 28 years ago — would have 90 days to register those weapons, according to the proposed ordinance.
Residents convicted of violating the city’s ordinance can face a fine up to $5,000 and be locked up for as long as 90 days for a first offense and a fine of up to $10,000 and as long as six months behind bars for subsequent convictions.
Though Monday’s Supreme Court ruling did not specifically strike down Chicago’s handgun ban, it ordered a federal appeals court to reconsider its ruling.
Mayor Richard Daley moved quickly to get a new ordinance in place and has indicated that he expects legal challenges to the new restrictions.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.