BY BECKY MALKOVICH, The Southern | Posted: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 4:21 pm | No Comments Posted
A Carbondale-based firearm retailers group is one of the plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in response to a new gun control ordinance in the city of Chicago.
The Illinois Association of Firearms Retailers is one of five plaintiffs - the other four are Chicago residents - in the lawsuit that asks the ordinance be declared null and void because it infringes upon the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
"We joined the lawsuit because of the new ordinance passed by the city of Chicago that prohibits the establishment of firearm retailers in the city of Chicago," said Whitney O'Daniel, executive director of IAFR, an organization representing firearm retailers statewide.
The ordinance was passed last week, just days after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling made the city's ban on handguns unenforceable.
Among other things, the new ordinance prohibits firearm retailers from setting up shop in Chicago.
O'Daniel said the city is overstepping it bounds by preventing the establishment of such shops since firearm retailers are licensed by the ATF, a federal agency.
Also, by not allowing such shops in the city, residents are forced to travel to make firearm purchases, he said, which could be a burden for some.
"The city just picked out a federally legal product and made it a part of this lawsuit. That is not right," he said.
"We support the other four plaintiffs as well as the whole mission of the case," he said. "We want people to be able to have firearms for self-defense or sporting purposes."