7th Circuit Reverses District Court in Ezell v. Chicago (Chicago Gun Range Case)
Following McDonald v. Chicago, the City of Chicago enacted a number of new firearm ordinances. In order to obtain a firearm permit, a person would have to take 1-hour of firearm training at a firing range. The only problem was that Chicago banned the construction of ranges in city limits. In Ezell v. Chicago, plaintiffs sought injunctive relief, arguing that banning the construction of firing ranges in the City, and at the same time requiring people to undergo firearm training, violated the Second Amendment.
The 7th Circuit, per Judge Sykes, reversed the District Court’s denial of injunctive relief. In short, requiring someone to take firearm training, but not allowing the construction of firearm ranges, is improper.
In the First Amendment context, the Supreme Court long ago made it clear that “ ‘one is not to have the exercise of his liberty of expression in appropriate places abridged on the plea that it may be exercised in some other place.’ ” Schad v. Borough of Mt. Ephraim, 452 U.S. 61, 76‐77 (1981) (quoting Schneider v. State of New Jersey, 308 U.S. 147, 163 (1939)). The same principle applies here. It’s hard to imagine anyone suggesting that Chicago may prohibit the exercise of a freespeech or religious‐liberty right within its borders on the rationale that those rights may be freely enjoyed in the suburbs. That sort of argument should be no less unimaginable in the Second Amendment context.
Judge Rovner concurred in judgment. I’ll add more commentary later (see here for my instant reaction).