Chicago Lawsuit: Gun Control A ‘Civil Right’

AP Photo/M. Spencer Green
AP Photo/M. Spencer Green

On July 7, Father Michael Pfleger, the Coalition for Safe Communities in Chicago, and other gun control plaintiffs filed a lawsuit suggesting gun control is a “civil right” that is violated by a lack of gun laws and regulations in the Chicago-area villages of Riverdale, Lyons and Lincolnwood.

The suit claims that “20 percent of guns” found at Chicago crime scenes between 2009 and 2013 were guns legally purchased from gun shops in these villages. Therefore, the suit posits a need for more regulatory oversight of gun stores in Riverdale, Lyons, and Lincolnwood.

It is important to note that people who buy guns from these retailers — like all retailers — must pass a background check. And Pfleger and company aren’t denying that background checks have been passed by people who bought guns. Rather, they suggest more regulation should be imposed on those who are selling the guns.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the suit is asking Riverdale, Lyons, and Lincolnwood to “[perform] background checks of store employees, [have] safety plans approved by the police to deter theft, [train] employees to identify straw purchasers, who are legal gun buyers who illegally supply weapons to people barred from owning firearms, and [keep] a log of a store’s gun sales in which the weapon was recovered in a crime.”

Officials for Lyons said they met with Chicago Police to discuss the concerns voiced about a gun shop in their community and Lincolnwood’s attorney cannot find “any conceivable basis for liability” on the part of the village.

Nevertheless, the suit seeks to have “the court to declare [the] three suburbs in violation of the Illinois Civil Rights Act and issue an injunction requiring them to strengthen their regulation of gun stores.”

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