Wartime Firearm Exhibits Banned in Chicago

Wartime Firearm Exhibits Banned in Chicago

Although Chicago comes in dead last when jurisdictions are ranked for enforcement of federal gun laws, there’s one thing that leaders in the city are enforcing–a ban on unloaded, historic firearms in Chicago museums.

While gangs and other criminals have proven it’s no problem to get guns in Chicago, families of World War II veterans who’ve donated their wartime firearms to military museums can’t even see their weapons on display.

A section of the city code forbids museums from “displaying firearms of historic value,” even though the firearms would be unloaded and behind glass or deep within a display setting of some sort.

Kenneth Clarke, CEO and President of the Pritzker Military Library, said that since they can’t display the weapons, they have had to find a place to store them. He added that their storage area has become so full that they’ve begun saying “no” when families of military combat vets contact them about donating weapons. 

Some people justify the ban by claiming the guns could be stolen and end up on the streets if museums were to display them. Clarke rejected this: “There are so many firearms available on the black market in Chicago, it’s not likely these are going to be high on the list… I don’t know if someone is going to find ammo for a German handgun from World War II.”

Photo credit: Joe Loong/Flickr