Daley mulls options if court OKs handguns

June 17, 2010 at 4:52 PM
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CHICAGO, June 17 (UPI) -- Chicago will ensure that officials can account for handguns if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the city's 28-year-old handgun ban, Mayor Richard Daley said.

"If the ban is overturned, we will see a lot of common-sense approaches in the city aimed at protecting first responders," Daley said Thursday, outlining steps to protect police officers, paramedics and emergency workers from being shot when responding to an incident at a home.

"We have to have some type of registry," Daley told the Chicago Tribune. "If a first responder goes to an apartment, they need to know if that individual has a gun."

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this month if state and local governments can enforce limits on certain firearms for self-protection.

At issue is whether the constitutional "right of the people to keep and bear arms" applies to local gun-control ordinances or only to federal restrictions.

The court struck down the Washington, D.C., handgun ban two years ago.

Chicago is looking closely at what Washington did after the ruling, Daley said. The city is also looking at California, which has some of the most comprehensive gun laws in the nation.

Chicago already requires registration of rifles and shotguns, which are legal in the city. Those regulations could be applied to handguns, Corporation Counsel Mara Georges told the newspaper.

The city may also rewrite its current ordinance to include stronger, more controversial measures, Georges said.

Those measured could include requiring databases to track a gun from the manufacturer to the gun shop to its owner, Georges said.

They could also include ballistic fingerprinting that requires manufacturers to test-fire guns and keep a record of the unique ballistic markings left on bullets and shell casings.

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