Chicago Legislator Wants Exemption To City Gun Ban For Museums

| by Jonathan Wolfe
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Chicago’s citywide firearm ban is so extensive that not even museums are allowed to display guns.

The Pritzker Military Library is trying to do something about that. The museum acquired a historical gun that it thinks people should be able to see. The gun, a Walther PP 7.65-mm handgun, was acquired from a Nazi officer by U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William P. Levine during WWII. Levine is one of the highest ranking Jewish generals in American history, and he was one of the first Allied soldiers to liberate the Dachau concentration camp in 1945. His family donated his uniform, military papers, the gun, and other artifacts to the Pritzker Library, but the gun has not been on display due to Chicago’s legislation.

Pritzker CEO Ken Clarke and Chicago legislator Edward Burke have teamed up to do something about that.

“(Legislator) Burke heard our story about this and really came to the same conclusion we did – there’s really no clear code for museums,” Clarke said Tuesday. “And because of the lack of clarity, we haven’t taken any chances. So rather than hope for the best, we wanted to do this properly.”

Burke says it’s only common sense that museums should be exempt from the firearm ban.

“Chicago is home to several world-class museums,” Burke said. “And it has come to my attention that such an exemption is reasonably warranted to allow such institutions to display unloaded firearms that often accompany uniforms and other historical artifacts.”

Burke’s proposal was officially introduced on Wednesday. If it passes, Chicago museums would be allowed to display firearms classified as “curious and relics.” The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms defines guns as “curious and relics” if they are at least 50 years old and certified by a curator of a municipal, state, or federal museum. A gun also meets the requirement if a significant part of its value comes from rare features or connections with historical figures and events. Levine’s gun meets all of these requirements.

In 1995, Levine told the Chicago Tribune that he wanted to share his military experiences in order to educate people on the atrocities of war.

"For me, the most important and effective method of preventing another Holocaust is truth and education," he said.  

Source: Fox News