WASHINTON — Second Amendment advocates won a major victory in Chicago last month when the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a city ordinance that restricted shooting ranges to industrial areas.
The city earlier had passed an outright ban on gun ranges, but that was struck down in 2010.
Chicago officials defended their new law by arguing that gun ranges attract gun thieves, cause airborne lead contamination and carry a risk of fire. The court disagreed.
“The city has provided no evidentiary support for these claims, nor has it established that limiting shooting ranges to manufacturing districts and distancing them from the multiple and various uses listed in the buffer-zone rule has any connection to reducing these risks,” the court ruled in its opinion.
The court also ruled that a provision that prevented anyone under 18 from entering a shooting range was unconstitutional.
“The City’s primary defense of the age-18 limitation is to argue that minors have no Second Amendment rights at all,” the opinion in Rhonda Ezell v. City of Chicago stated. “To support this sweeping claim, the City points to some nineteenth-century state laws prohibiting firearm possession by minors and prohibiting firearm sales to minors.