Skip to comments.Illinois: Federal Court Upholds Right to Keep and Bear Arms and Awards the NRA $125,000 in...
Posted on 11/21/2012 8:21:50 PM PST by neverdem
Illinois: Federal Court Upholds Right to Keep and Bear Arms and Awards the NRA $125,000 in Attorneys Fees
On September 26, 2012 the United States District Court in the Northern District of Illinois awarded the National Rifle Association (NRA) $125,000 to reimburse it for attorneys fees spent winning a lawsuit against the City of Chicago over a Chicago firearm ordinance on behalf of NRA member Shawn Gowder. In striking down the law, the Court held that the ordinance is unconstitutionally void for vagueness and also violates the plaintiffs Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. A copy of the court filings in this case and the $125,000 check from the City of Chicago can be viewed here.
The NRAs motion for attorneys fees in the case of Gowder v. Chicago was granted following a successful NRA motion for summary judgment. The Gowder case challenged the constitutionality of a Chicago ordinance that banned people with certain non-violent misdemeanor convictions from possessing firearms in their homes for self-defense. Mr. Gowder had a misdemeanor conviction for "unlawful use of a weapon" (simply having a handgun on his person outside his own home). When Mr. Gowder wanted to possess a firearm in his home and sought a firearm permit (as is required by the Chicago ordinance), his application was denied. Even though his misdemeanor record did not prevent Mr. Gowder from obtaining a Firearm Owners Identification card, Mr. Gowder could not obtain the firearms permit necessary to possess a firearm in his own home because the law prohibited permits from being issued to anyone convicted of "an unlawful use of a weapon that is a firearm," even if it was just a misdemeanor conviction.
In its June ruling on the summary judgment motion, the Court held that the "Chicago Firearm Ordinance does not provide a person of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to know what is prohibited, in that it does not define the term unlawful use of a weapon. It appears that the City of Chicago merely borrowed from an Illinois criminal statute the term unlawful use of a weapon, which sounds extremely serious on its face, but in reality can include simple unlawful possession."
Although the Court was not required to consider whether the ordinance violated the Second Amendment (because it already determined that the ordinance was unconstitutionally vague), the Court nonetheless considered the U.S. Supreme Court decisions of District of Columbia v. Heller (which declared that a ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment) and McDonald v. Chicago (which declared that the Second Amendment is fully applicable to the States), and held that the Chicago ordinance violated the Second Amendment as well.
According to the Court, the firearm ordinance did "not differentiate between those who have been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor, or between those who have been convicted of a violent or non-violent crime, and thus the denial of a [firearm permit] does not find valid foothold in statutory history." The effect of the ordinance "is to forever strip certain persons residing in Chicago of their constitutional right to protect themselves in their own homes, including, for example, a person convicted forty years ago of simply possessing a firearm (and not unlawfully using it against another)."
After evaluating the ordinance under a text, history, and tradition analysis, as well as a under the more conventional tests of strict scrutiny and intermediate scrutiny, the Court held that the ordinance was unconstitutional under any legal standard of review.
This is another great win for the NRAs team of attorneys, fighting in courts across the country for our right to keep and bear arms.
Little else matters right now by comparison.
Saw it. What’s the next step so that Illinois citizens get their human rights back?
I joined the NRA earlier tonight. I’m glad to see this victory for...us! Feels good to say that.
“Whats the next step so that Illinois citizens get their human rights back?”
Stop electing Democrats, for a start;)
If the FedGov hugely infringes on the 2nd by using the subterfuge of a foreign treaty, they will have abrogated the contract between the People and the FedGov, AKA the Constitution, plain and simple.
This would have enormous consequences, to say the least.
Bammi does Billions of Damage and 125 Grand is the best the NRA can do?
Math is easy... just count the zeros
NRA is McCain and AARP ... just reaching across the isle ...
2nd Amendment doesn’t have a Club Membership Clause
90% of the people in this country would have no idea what you mean by that.
This would have enormous consequences, to say the least.
The whimper heard round the world.
I wish it was different.
Well, if 10% do...
I like our odds...
Because if 90% do not get it, then they are too ignorant to fight us then...
The opposition is hedging their bet that “we” (those 10%’ers) will not fight back against this infringement agenda...
How wrong they are...
But, at the end of the day, we all lose if they press too hard...
Just remember, “What are you prepared to do about it, and what are you prepared to sacrifice for it?”
Evicting Chicago and CRook County from the state.
Madigan and Quinn have got to go. Getting rid of them? Quinn -not so hard. Madigan -will require inceding divine power.
You are really worried we can’t get 34 Senators to kill the Small Arms Treaty?
Hold on a moment...
In striking down the law, the Court held that THE ORDINANCE ITSELF IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL and also violates the plaintiffs Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
There. Fixed it.
Obama will make a call and everything will be fine.
possibly all for naught unless we stop the Small Arms Treaty.
Anyone who does not believe that is an absolute fool.
We, as a society, need to start taking action now and not wait until it actually happens and we are forced to fight a well armed civilian army controlled by FEMA.
The first action is to secede from the union. It is a constitutional right and if that fails the only other action available is civil war. A political remedy is simply a “pipe dream.”
The next 4 years will see the complete destruction of our liberties, Constitutional rights and freedoms.
I’m 66 years old and never thought that I would never live to watch our country turn into a Marxist regime but I was wrong.
If, after that, you think that it takes at least 67 Senators to ratify a treaty, I'll bet you $1,000 to FreeRepublic.com that you are dead wrong. A treaty can be ratified with as few as 34 Senators. In fact, it may have been done in the past with considerably fewer.
It’s a majority of Senators present, so no, 34 would not be enough.
With a minimum quorum of 51 Senators present, two thirds of that is 34.
Get out your checkbook, you owe FR $1,000.
You didn’t make the bet with me.
Do you really think Harry Reid cares about the Constitution? Our president and his entire cabinet certainly don’t.
You decided to "correct" me in replying to that bet.
Do you really think Harry Reid cares about the Constitution?
Only to the degree to which he can twist it to his advantage. Given the standards of "senators present" for a filibuster, it might be possible to enact the supreme law of the land and invalidate a Constitutionally recognized pre-existing right with as few as three Senators present. If you want to understand how that was possible, and that it was predicted by Patrick Henry before the ink was dry, read this.
Fact: Get rid of Quinn and replace him with a pro-2nd Amendment Governor and Illinois will have CC.
As Carry_Okie suggest, we should read the Constitution, but we should also attend to what it means. It requires the vote of 2/3 of the Senate to ratify a treaty, and thus the votes of more than 1/3 of the Senate can deny a treaty ratification. Hence, 34 (> 100/3) Senators can prevent ratification of a treaty. Yes, if our folks don’t show up for the vote and let the ‘Rats have a quorum, 2/3 of a quorum will suffice to ratify, but then 1/3 of the quorum would suffice to block — however on something of this import, I trust our side will force the ‘Rats to gather the full Senate or drop it.
(Knowing the text of the Constitution does not suffice — the Founders expected the citizenry to be moderately well educated, and that includes being able to do simple arithmetic and reason soundly about things like arithmetic and the text of the Constitution.)
No, it does not. Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 as quoted above in post 24, requires only 2/3 of Senators PRESENT for ratification. If there is but a minimum quorum of 51, that is 34.
You owe FR $1,000.
First, I never took the bet. Second, my original post simply asked whether you were worried we couldn’t get 34 Senators to block ratification — that is the number sufficient to block it with all the Senators present — nowhere did I assert that 67 Senators were needed to ratify the treaty. In my later post pointing to the 2/3 majority requirement I noted that a smaller number would be needed to block in the case where a mere quorum was present.
I do, however, see why you think my assertion of needing a vote of 2/3 of the Senate was incorrect — I am so used to the norms of parliamentary procedure that I assume “present and voting when a quorum is present” as the normal meaning of all such assertions unless they are modified to the contrary. (I was an old parliamentary-style debater in college, and function as the de facto parliamentarian for every deliberative body I sit on at the university where I am employed.) Requirements that a majority of the entire membership (or some super-majority proportion of the entire membership) vote in favor of some measure are so unusual they are always spelled out explicitly as such in by-laws of organizations that make such requirements.
I am 68 years old and have been expecting what is happening for most of my life. I am surprised only that it did not arrive sooner, I used to try to warn people but no one wanted to hear it, they thought it couldn’t happen in America!
I am no psychic or super genius but I follow a simple principle, if I see cars heading south through South Carolina on I-95 I have no way of knowing what exit they may take but I can know one thing for certain and that is that IF they continue to follow the same road going in the same direction they absolutely must arrive in Florida at some point, it is a question of when, not if and the when is determined by the average speed of travel. The same principle applies to nations traveling the path of bigger and bigger government, if they do not change direction then HELL ON EARTH will be their destination. I could see this country heading the wrong way when I was still a teenager and most Americans seemed quite content to keep going in the same direction.
That’s right, and these small victories matter a lot. As far as the Arms treaty, if that is used against the God given rights of Americans, then the time for political bs is over. Time to start shooting at that point.I really do not worry much about the Arms treaty.If a treaty with a foreign entity is ever attempted to be used to violate our rights, then the 2nd amendment isn’t just at stake. It’s ALL of our rights, and I won’t live under that kind of tyranny.
Interesting——this happened almost 2 full months ago, and there wasn’t a word on the MSM about it!!!
i read the treaty clause as no treaty can usurp the constitution... i will have to re read...
I've been a long time critic of the NRA, accusing them of flat out negotiating away our rights to own firearms, I may have to re-think my position now and actually join the NRA.
I’d love to say “true that!” but I’m not sure there are enough legislators OUTSIDE Chicago and CROOK COUNTY to make it happen and OVER-RIDE those crooked SOB’s!
When you do reread the supremacy clause, take care with the commas; it may not say what we all want it to mean. You see, we already have treaties on the books for over 70 years whose terms so wildly exceed constitutionally enumerated powers that you have a problem believing what you do. Some were ratified under conditions that were absolutely shocking. Every one has stood the (bogus) test of "settled law."
In fact, some of the Founders took major objection to the way that it was worded, but the Federalists rammed it through anyway because we needed the money and these were the terms our lenders apparently demanded. For some background on that consider this.