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10-3525 Ezell v. City of Chicago

Constitutional Law
Right to bear arms; firing ranges

A municipal ban on public firing ranges in the city is unconstitutional.

“[T]he City produced no empirical evidence whatsoever and rested its entire defense of the range ban on speculation about accidents and theft. Much of the focus in the district court was on the possible hazards of mobile firing ranges. The City hypothesized that one cause of range-related injury could be stray bullets, but this seems highly implausible insofar as a properly equipped indoor firing range is concerned. The district court credited the plaintiffs’ evidence that ‘mobile ranges are next to Sam’s Clubs and residences and shopping malls and in parking lots, and there’s not been any difficulties with them in those places.’ Commissioner Scudiero acknowledged that the law-enforcement and private-security firing ranges in Chicago are located near schools, churches, parks, and stores, and they operate safely in those locations. And Sergeant Bartoli testified about the availability of straightforward range-design measures that can effectively guard against accidental injury. He mentioned, for example, that ranges should be fenced and should designate appropriate locations for the loading and unloading of firearms. Other precautionary measures might include limiting the concentration of people and firearms in a range’s facilities, the times when firearms can be loaded, and the types of ammunition allowed.”

Reversed and Remanded.

10-3525 Ezell v. City of Chicago

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Kendall, J., Sykes, J.

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