The new Chicago rules make it a time consuming process
for even retired police officers to register their handguns.
The city ordinance has also been used to keep guns from citizens who try to register them legally. Gun owners rejected for registration violations have the right to appeal the decision and have an administrative hearing.
In 2009, Niles Sherman’s effort to register a handgun was denied, even though he had been allowed to register the weapon and four others since before the handgun ban went into effect. Mr. Sherman, 81, an alderman of the 21st Ward from 1979 to 1987, is supposed to be exempt from the handgun ban because he had been a Chicago police officer. But last year he was told that the city had no evidence that he was collecting a police pension.
Mr. Sherman said that was because his police pension was wrapped into the pension he got from his time on the City Council. Presented with further documentation, a hearing officer reversed the police department’s decision.
“The whole thing was so much you-know-what,” Mr. Sherman said. “I earned the right to have those guns, I bought them and, last but not least, if need be, I can use them.”
Mr. Sherman said he recently tried to register under the new ordinance, along with 255 others as of mid-August, a police spokesman said, adding that 156 applications have been approved. Mr. Sherman’s was not one of them; he was told he had to undergo a new round of training on a shooting range.
The original intent of the handgun ban was to make it more difficult to get a firearm in Chicago. Now, Mr. Sherman said, weapons are so much easier to obtain illegally that the gun laws only make it more cumbersome for citizens to register firearms.
“Why don’t I just do like these punks on the street have done,” he said, “and put my guns away and pull them out and use them when I want?”
Labels: Chicago, GunControl, Police