Group of Anti-Gun Activists Suing Suburbs Over Chicago’s Gun Violence

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

An activist Chicago Catholic priest is trying a new tactic in his quest to stamp out the Second Amendment in Illinois. Now he is suing several nearby suburbs surrounding Chicago claiming that they are aiding and abetting the sale of illegal guns in Chicago.

Activist priest Father Michael Pfleger and a handful of co-plaintiffs are suing the suburban cities of Riverdale, Lyons, and Lincolnwood claiming that the municipalities are somehow allowing neighborhood gun shops to break laws with sales.  These activists also claim in their lawsuit that the surrounding suburbs are in violation of the Illinois Civil Rights Act.

One of Pfleger’s claims is that the cities are allowing “straw purchases” to be carried out at gun shops in their jurisdictions.

In his suit, Pfleger claims that the suburban cities he is targeting represent an inordinate number of gun sales to Chicago citizens resulting in crimes.

Chicago’s ATF officers, however, disagree with Pfleger’s conclusion.

“The largest percentage of crime guns used by gang members are coming from Indiana,” Special Agent Thomas Ahern told Fox News Chicago.

The lawsuit also tries to spin a racist agenda on the part of the suburban municipalities.

In part, the suit claims that, “the continued use of lax methods in licensing their dealers has a racially disparate and terrible effect on the communities in which plaintiffs and the members of the plaintiff organization live and has the effect of discriminating against plaintiffs because of race.”

One suburb that has made public comment says that the suit is ridiculous and has no merit.

“We don’t regulate gun shops based on race. We regulate gun shops based on state laws,” said a representative of the Village of Lyons.

But Pfleger has opened a full court press appealing to every media outlet to carry his message. On Chicago’s ABC affiliate, for instance, the priest was heard saying, “Families and our children have a right to safety. They have a right to live. They have a right to walk to school, to play outside, to sit on their porch and not be afraid of being shot or killed. Although the solution of violence is indeed comprehensive, part of the problem is the proliferation of guns.”

Pfleger has been attacking the Second Amendment for years. Only last month he was agitating for Illinois to register guns with titles, similar to automobiles. He also called for a ban on “high capacity” magazines.

The priest has also hyperbolically claimed that the NRA has blood on its hands due to the violence in the Windy City where dozens are shot and from five to eight killed each week.

Critics, though, point out that all of Pfleger’s attacks on the legal rights of gun owners would do absolutely nothing to address Chicago’s gang warfare and the drug trade that fuels it.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.