Chicago implements gun amnesty program

[JURIST] Chicago's voluntary gun buy-back program brought in more than 6,800 weapons on Saturday as the city sought to address gun violence following the US Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller [Duke Law backgrounder; JURIST report]. Chicago's gun control laws are similar to the Washington, DC statutes struck down by the Supreme Court, and the city is currently facing a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; JURIST report] brought by four Chicago residents, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) [advocacy website], and the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) [official website], who are challenging handgun bans and registration requirements. The city plans to defend the lawsuit [Chi-town report] by arguing that Heller only applies to the District of Columbia. As part of the initiative, headed by mayor Richard Daley, the city offered $100 for each gun turned in [press release] and amnesty for weapons banned by current laws. Organizers had hoped to collect more than 14,000 guns based on the growth of the program in previous years. The Chicago Tribune has more.

The Supreme Court ruling was the first that directly addressed the Second Amendment since 1939's US v. Miller [case materials]. In September 2007, Washington DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and DC Attorney General Linda Singer [official profiles] formally appealed a March 2007 federal court ruling which invalidated the District of Columbia's handgun ban [JURIST reports]. The decision affirmed the March DC Circuit holding [opinion, PDF] that the city's 30-year-old ban on private possession of handguns was unconstitutionally broad.

 

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