City could require gun owners get training, liability insurance if handgun ban overturned
May 20, 2010
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
Chicago gun owners could be required to take a training course, register their firearms, allow police to perform ballistics tests and even purchase liability insurance, if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the city’s strictest-in-the-nation handgun ban.
Mayor Daley isn’t saying precisely what he will do in the face of almost certain defeat.
But to protect first-responders, he’s prepared to go above and beyond the replacement model crafted by Washington D.C. after its handgun ban bit the dust.
Washington requires gun owners to get five hours of safety training, register their firearms every three years and face criminal background checks every six years.
Gun owners there are further required to submit fingerprints and allow police to perform ballistic tests. They must keep revolvers unloaded and either disassembled or secured with trigger locks unless they have reason to fear a home intruder.
As sweeping as those provisions are, they apparently don’t go far enough for Daley, who hinted strongly at an insurance component to protect police officers and paramedics.
“You have to think about the first-responders. You’re putting them in a difficult position to make decisions. What happens if they don’t make the right decision? A person has a gun, but is [it] the person in the house? Does he have a right to carry a gun or is he the person [who] broke in?” Daley said.
“I’m not laying it out, but there are gonna be many topics we’re gonna talk about and who pays for it. And [the city may require] authorized people like the Chicago Police Department to train you.”
Earlier this year, Daley ridiculed the Supreme Court for affirming the Second Amendment right to bear arms while sitting in a protective bubble.
On Thursday, he continued to hold out hope that the justices would have an abrupt change of heart.
“You have to have confidence in the Supreme Court. Maybe they’ll see the light of day. Maybe one of them will have an incident and they’ll change their mind overnight,” he said.
Chicago's 1982 handgun freeze and a companion requirement that existing gun owners re-register their weapons every year — have been likened to Prohibition and denounced as a widely ignored charade.
Hours after an off-duty Chicago police officer was gunned down during an attempted robbery, Daley was asked how effective the law has really been.
He picked up a gun from a table full of weapons seized by Chicago Police and said, “If I put this up your butt, you’ll find out how effective it is.
[Confiscating] this gun saved many lives. It could save your life.”