January 3, 2008

Proposed Firearms Ordinances in Cook County, Ill.

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) -- the trade association of the firearms industry -- is encouraging all sportsmen, hunters and firearms enthusiasts to contact the Cook County Board of Commissioners and urge them to oppose a string of county ordinances that if passed would result in a shutdown of firearms dealers and a ban on guns.

The move by NSSF follows the introduction of three proposed ordinances by County Commissioners Larry Suffredin and William Beavers that would shut down all gun stores in Cook County, including the recently opened Cabela's in Hoffman Estates -- a store whose customer base extends into Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan.

"As if gun control laws in the Land of Lincoln weren't draconian enough, it now appears select Cook County commissioners are attempting to systematically evict every law-abiding firearms retailer in the county, a move which would impact not only Illinois residents, but the thousands of out-of-state customers who travel to retailers like Cabela's in Hoffman Estates" said NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane.

The "Deadly Weapon Dealers Ordinance," a proposal by Commissioner Suffredin, would prohibit federally licensed firearms dealers from operating within 10 miles of one another and would ban all gun shows in the county. Further restrictions on where firearms retailers would be allowed to operate are predicated on proximity to schools and parks.

Commissioner Suffredin was recently quoted as saying, "As a home rule unit, Cook County has the legal right to regulate where these establishments [gun stores] are allowed to operate. Chuck's Gun Shop is within one mile of a school which will not be allowed once this ordinance passes."

Also introduced as part of this anti-gun package of laws is the "Safe Streets and Weapons Registration Ordinance," introduced by Commissioner Beavers. This ordinance would require the registration of all firearms and firearms owners in Cook County.

Closer examination of the proposed ordinance reveals an even more diabolical gun-control scheme -- as written, the ordinance would actually ban firearms in the county including any handgun without a loaded chamber indicator.

Furthermore, the ordinance prohibits transporting a firearm in a vehicle unless the gun is completely disassembled into a "nonfunctioning state." This includes rifles that have already been sighted-in and revolvers that cannot be simply "broken down" into a nonfunctioning state.

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