Thursday, January 19, 2017

Civil rights victory. And, once again, it's a ruling against Chicago.

You'd think they'd get tired of being told "Stop this crap.  NOW."
Chicago’s gun range regulations ban, among other things, anyone younger than 18 from going to a shooting range within city limits. Yesterday’s 7th Circuit opinion in Ezell v. City of Chicago, written by Judge Diane Sykes, joined by Judge Michael Kanne and largely agreed with by Judge Ilana Rovner, struck that down:

Just how bad did Chicago get spanked?
The City staked most of its case on the categorical argument and made little effort to justify prohibiting older adolescents and teens from engaging in supervised target practice at a range. Its rationale rests largely on an argument from “common sense” about public safety and the safety of children. Yet even common sense does not lie with the City.

In what must have come as a surprise to the City, Commissioner Krimbel, the City’s own witness on this subject, actually agreed with the plaintiffs’ attorney that banning anyone under 18 from entering a shooting range goes too far and extends beyond legitimate safety concerns. Here’s a taste: “I will give you this: I believe [the age restriction] is inartfully drafted because it seem[s] clear to me that the purpose of it is to not have kids running around unsupervised.” And this: “[Y]ou might want to draft that a little bit differently” because shooting ranges are a “good place” to teach a youngster “how to fire a rifle.” And this: “In fact, my own son took a shooting class when he was 12, so I’m well aware of the fact it’s okay to teach a young person how to shoot a gun properly.” Commissioner Krimbel also conceded that the City lacked any data or empirical evidence to justify its blanket no-one-under-18 rule.
That's because there is none; this was based on "We do not like it, so it must be banned."  Which isn't exactly a legal argument.

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