After gun law defeat, Chicago officials ponder next steps

June 21, 2012

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Top Chicago officials said Wednesday that they're still figuring out how to respond to a court decision knocking down part of the city's firearm ordinance.

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the city's refusal to issue a gun permit to anyone "convicted...of...unlawful use" of a firearm is "unconstitutionally void for vagueness."

Emanuel noted that "overall" the court left the ordinance "intact." The mayor said he's asked the city's top lawyer to look at the ruling before he decides whether to appeal.

"We will do whatever we need to do to continue to pursue in getting guns off our streets and out of the hands of gang-bangers and drug dealers," Emanuel said.

The city council could also move to amend the gun ordinance. Emanuel's floor leader, 40th Ward Ald. Pat O'Connor, said that is unlikely to happen for now. O'Connor said he wants to wait on a ruling in a separate case that challenges Illinois' ban on concealed weapons.

"I think it'd probably be a smarter idea to just kind of wait until we have the whole picture of gun law and where it's at before we try to figure out how to approach it again, if to approach it again," O'Connor said.

A federal appeals court heard arguments in the concealed carry case earlier this month.