We are pleased to post the following press release from the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
CHICAGO, IL -- The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV) is sending a clear message to the U.S. Supreme Court that eliminating Chicago's 28-year-old handgun ban will result in more gun suicides, homicides, and unintentional shootings. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in McDonald v. Chicago on Tuesday, March 2 over the fate of Chicago's longstanding handgun ban.
Gun violence survivors, advocates and the city's residents overwhelmingly support the ban and say that the law helps save lives. Instead of the Court using a deeply flawed reading of the Second Amendment and U.S. Constitution to potentially strip away Chicago's ban, ICHV says that state and federal gun laws should be strengthened.
“Communities need the right and authority to address urgent public safety issues such as gun violence and the Court must not ignore or dismiss the longstanding and robust history of effective gun laws in this country for purely political or ideological reasons,” said Thom Mannard, Executive Director of ICHV. “Chicago's handgun ban has been in effect for 28 years. Yet all of a sudden the gun lobby has completely manufactured a Court case with the sole intention of completely dismantling our nation's gun laws for their own political, ideological and financial gain.”
Nationwide an overwhelming majority of NRA members and gun owners support common sense gun laws. According to Frank Luntz's polling on behalf of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 69% of NRA members and 85% of gun owners support requiring background checks on firearm purchases at gun shows. In Illinois, 67% of NRA members support background checks for all handgun sales, with 42% strongly supporting the measure according to a statewide and bipartisan poll.
(See fact sheet here: http://www.icpgv.org/pdf/Gunowners.pdf).
“Americans are sensible when it comes to preventing gun violence and understand that gun restrictions are necessary both nationally and locally, such as Chicago's handgun ban,” said Mannard.
The McDonald v. Chicago case is simply an extension of the gun lobby's pervasive agenda to weaken all guns laws and assert that common sense gun restrictions somehow violate the Second Amendment. In 2008 the gun lobby convinced five conservative members of the Supreme Court to strike down D.C.'s handgun ban which dramatically reversed decades worth of legal precedent to suddenly claim there is an individual right to keep and bear arms.
Even before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on Chicago's handgun ban the gun lobby feels emboldened claiming the Second Amendment gives gun owners the “Constitutional right” to carry loaded guns in public, both openly and concealed, in government buildings, schools, parks, and shopping malls.
Americans should be gravely concerned about the possible outcome of the Court's ruling.