The Evanston City Council has scheduled a special closed-door meeting Monday evening at which the aldermen are expected to discuss a response to the lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association last week challenging the city’s ordinance banning the possession of handguns.

The NRA filed the suit in federal district court shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a handgun ban in the District of Columbia on a 5-4 vote, saying it violated the right to bear arms set forth in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The NRA also filed suits against Chicago, Morton Grove and Oak Park — other Illinois communities that, like Evanston, ban possession of handguns.

Related document

Text of complaint in NRA v. Evanston (.pdf)

Related story

Supreme Court throws gun law into question 

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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9 Comments

  1. Let’s call it a day and let someone else fight
    We don’t have the money to pour into an expensive fight in court. We’ve got police and firefighter pensions to fund. We’ve already got out-of-control property taxes, high gas taxes, excessive water bills/taxes. Our beach facilities are pathetic.

    I am not a fan of guns. I don’t own one. I think that the Supreme Court’s decision was wrong.

    But please, City Council, take the gun ban off the books and don’t fight the NRA lawsuit. Some other municipality will and we don’t need to spend money on this fight because we have far too many fights to fund already.

    It’s known as picking your battles. You can’t win this one so please don’t spend the money trying. As other municipalities wage their battles, we’ll get guidance on how to proceed with possible gun control laws for free.

  2. Don’t waste our tax dollars.
    NRA filed several nearly identical suits in several major cities challenging their local handgun ordinances. Given the recent Supreme Court Decision, those bans will likely fall like dominoes.

    Will Evanston’s aldermen fight or fold? If they are pragmatic and sensible, they will repeal the ordinance forthwith. If they are ego-sensitive mules, they will waste our tax dollars on years of hopeless litigation. Let Chicago fight this fight as they have vowed to do. If something salvageable comes out of their litigation, we can re-evaluate our position. In the interim – why waste the money?

    It is worth noting that Evanston’s corporation counsel gets paid for giving the City council his advice. He gets paid again, a hundred times over, when he defends them for having taken his advice in the first place. If you want the City to pass on this tax dollar loser, don’t forget to express your sentiments to corporation counsel. His name is Jack Siegel and his office number is 312-578-6530. It couldn’t hurt. Maybe we can shame them to their senses.

    Suffering from tax exhaustion,
    Michael Lee

    1. gun laws
      Who are the NRA to dictate to us what local ordinances we can and can’t pass? To me, this has to do with local autonomy – if urban communities want to strictly control gun possession and rural communities want to be more permissive, what’s wrong with that? I personally feel safer knowing that my fellow citizens are not “packing heat” and I support the City’s continued opposition to a terrible Supreme Court decision.

      1. gun laws are not dead
        Paul,

        The NRA SCOTUS decision did not outlaw gun control. There is no impediment to control of weapons by legal local means. We drive cars which requires license, registration, etc. Same with guns. There are some loopholes such as no background checks required at gun shows, which can be changed at national level. Also those having or selling guns without proper registration should have severe (and enforced) penalties.

        It is not the end of the world.

        Now for those idiots with loud auto audio systems…

        1. Since we’re talking about
          Since we’re talking about registering dangerous things, I have a humble suggestion. We are repeatedly told that the pen is mightier than the sword. Every dictator, aspiring dictator and modern politician will unhesitatingly confirm this fact. Since many believe that private persons cannot be trusted with guns (the sword), or must at least be forced to register their guns, then it follows that neither can private persons be trusted with a weapon mightier than a gun, the pen.

          Therefore I propose that the pen and all its analogies be, at a minimum, licensed and regulated for the general public and forbidden outright to those deemed irresponsible and dangerous by the proper authorities. So, we should register and monitor not only all pens but all personal computers, fax machines, printers, email, blogs, etc. as well. Dangerous radicals such as those who so foolishly cling to the Bill of Rights and individual liberty as to upset the McCitizens should, under penalty of the law, be denied access to all of the above.

          Needless to say, all illegal possession of any of the above public hazards should be severely punished by people qualified to do so, the gun carrying servants on the public payroll and their bosses.

      2. don’t blame the NRA
        Who is Evanston to deprive me of my rights? All humans have the right to defend themselves, with or without expressed government approval. Local autonomy is fine & dandy as long as it doesn’t infringe on my rights, and the SCOTUS has reaffirmed this fact. If Evanston wants to nullify the 2nd amendment, or any of them for that matter, I recommend that it first secedes to form a new country with its own constitution.

  3. Why is the agenda for this closed meeting maded public?
    This is very interesting to me that the agenda for this closed meeting ibeing maded public? Given the council has hidden numerous meetings from the public. Citizens have filed complaints against the city to release information and also had to asked the state to rule on the council’s misue of the process? this is very unique to annouce a closed meeting topic?

    What is all the more interesting – is now they are announcing this? Have the council members bother to tell the public how much money they have wasted every year here on lawsuits? I did alittle research on this and it appears over the years they were averaging over $1 million dollars in payments in lawsuits not even counting the attonerys fee. ( that is suits they settled) – thus we have probalby wasted $2 million – if not more each year- it is hard to find this in the budget – I assume some here will doubt this.

    Mr Lee is right in being concerned – the city will lose this and know doubt the council members will make public statements on their support of the current ordinance. How much will they waste? I would guess they could quite easyly waste a million dollars. What has Wilmette done I believe they have stop enforcing their ordinance – thus they are protecting taxpayers from waste.

    Although the geniuses here will claim they are protecting the taxpayers from guns – please all one has to do is look at the annual police reports and see all the gun use here to realize the ordinance is not working. Will any of the council members want to take a real look at the guns in town – not likely.

    I suspect in the coming weeks we will hear their usually political comments – I suspect a few of them will give their usual long wind speaches.

  4. Waste of our tax dollars
    I don’t exactly know what the City of Evanston has in mind to do, but spending one dime is one dime that shouldn’t be spent on this nonsense. Repeal the ordinance and focus on things that need attention, such as the pension funding problem, leadership & City staff vacuum, fixing the Civic Center, fixing the streets.

  5. Status
    Bill,
    Do you have an update from the closed-door meeting? Has the City announced its intentions?

    Michael Lee

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