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.