Evanston aldermen voted Monday to bring the city’s weapons ordinance in line with last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a gun ban in Washington, D.C.

Without public debate the aldermen adopted a resolution prepared by staff authorizing a rewrite of the ordinance.

The resolution directs the city’s legal staff to develop amendments to the existing ordinance that bars private possession of handguns to comply with the court’s decision that the Second Amendment to the federal constitution gives individuals a right to possess and carry personal weapons for self-defense.

The resolution also calls for strengthening provisions of the weapons ordinance against unlawful use of firearms in the city.

The city will seek to have a suit the National Rifle Association filed against its weapons ordinance after the Supreme Court ruling dismissed, based on its plan to bring the law into compliance with the court ruling.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. The Supreme Court ruling
    The Supreme Court ruling hasn’t been tested on a City ordinance-it was a very narrow federal ruling. Why would the city council respond as if their ordinance is and has been unconstitutional? This Evanston city council is a joke.

  2. Going Shopping
    According to CDC National Center for Health Statistics (2005):
    569 homicides (56% of all IL gun deaths),
    424 suicides (42% of all IL gun deaths),
    21 unintentional shootings, 1 legal intervention, and 4 of undetermined intent (2% of all IL gun deaths combined).

    I just don’t see how adding guns makes the home safer

    1. Mike, Dropping the handgun
      Mike, Dropping the handgun ban will have no negative effect on your personal safety. The people who have been in compliance with this ban are legal, law abiding citizens who have had a background check from the ISP to obtain a FOID card, and a background check every time they have purchased a firearm in this state. People who legally possess firearms in Illinois, and continue to pass criminal background checks are not and will not be a threat to your safety. The criminals who illegally possess weapons and pay no heed to the law are the problem. Criminals by thier very nature, do not obey the law. Handgun bans only effect Legal, law abiding citizens, who make the decision to release thier fundamental rights in order to comply with city statute.

      1. I worry about my kids
        How many of the new gun owners since the ban has been dropped have children? Do they practice full disclosure when scheduling playdates? Many years ago we lived in a suburb where guns were prevelent and “do you have a gun in the house and how is it secured” were common questions. I hate to have to go back to asking that again.

        1. Don’t worry and ask away!!!
          Dear Anonymous, to be honest. I can almost guarantee you that you won’t really notice the change. Your children have already played at someone’s house where there are guns present. Many people I know in Evanston never followed the ban and always had a handgun at home. And personally, I think my own children are safer in a home where there is a gun owner. As a husband leaving my wife and kids alone, my most important concern was the she have access to a gun. Especially in south Evanston where there have been home invasions.

          And as for your statement that you “hate to have to go back to asking that again” regarding guns at a playmate’s house. You should never hesitate to ask questions like that and you shouldn’t feel inconvenienced. You need to protect your children and if it makes you feel more comfortable you should ask. My wife and I have often asked uncomfortable questions based on our experiences. As a parent, my most important concerns are whether they smoke in the house and if the alcohol is locked up. Probably the most uncomfortable question I had to ask was why a particular child had two “mommies”. My wife and I were very uncomfortable with that.

          1. Keep a handgun safe and secure at all times.
            The safest place for a handgun to be is attached to the person responsible for it.
            As long as the state requires those who keep one handy to do otherwise, your kids will be at risk.

        2. Did you ask if there were
          Did you ask if there were knives,swords,fireworks,chemicals,drugs,chainsaws,power tools,swimming pools, welding torches,easily accessible car keys,and other items dangerous to children or just guns?

          1. statistically
            my children are much more likely to be shot by your gun at your house than any of the above (with the possible exception of swimming pools which is quite obvious if someone has one).
            I actually am supportive of people having guns legally but so many of you “gun people” sound like nut jobs and do not instill confidence. No one here has discussed keeping their weapons safe from criminals (theft) or children – two obvious issues related to private gun ownership. You all try to sound like John Wayne – keeping the rest of us safe. Please.

    2. National Center of Health Statistis???
      I’m not familier with these stats, but since you are, please answer these questions for me:
      – Of the 569 Homicides – How many of the Offenders were considered “responsible, law-adiding citizens”?
      – Of the 424 Suicides – Do you think that the 42% who used a gun, would not have followed through, if they didn’t have the gun available to them? I think if they planned to commit suicide, they would have found a way, like the other 52%.
      – 21 unintentional shootings – Would this be considered “accidental”, like a vehicle accident? Do you think there should be a ban on vehicle?
      It’s obvious that the criminals can obtain a gun to commit crimes, but responsible, law-abiding citizens are banned from owning fireams to protect themselves, families and property.
      Crime is constantly rising, and the majority of the victims are the “responsible, law-abiding citizens”.

    3. Statistics in Context?
      The statistics that were quoted shouldn’t scare people. Let me tell you why. First, “569 homicides (56% of all IL gun deaths)”….I recently saw on one of the local newscasts that in 85%-90% of all gun homicides the victim was involved in criminal activity or had a police record. Thus only 10%-15% are innocent bystanders. “424 suicides (42% of all IL gun deaths)”….this does not generally put the public in danger other than the person committing suicide. However, if someone truly wants to commit suicide they will find a way if a gun is not available. “21 unintentional shootings, 1 legal intervention, and 4 of undetermined intent (2% of all IL gun deaths combined)”….is the only statistic that should concern us but it’s only 2% which in my opinion is negligible but should still be addressed. There are too many idiots who keep their guns unlocked or within the reach of kids. But the problem is not the guns, it’s lack of values and sheer stupidity. Evanston’s gun ban was symbolic at most and the result of bleeding heart “feel good” political symbolism. I know pleny of people who own handguns and I am glad they will be able to do so legally.

    4. Your Statistics
      569 homicides (56% of all IL gun deaths) –
      Gangbangers (children) shooting gangbangers (more children). This violence is not likely to ever affect you if you are a responsible adult with a dayjob, and truthfully, we really shouldn’t be concerned when gang members shoot/kill other gang members…..sure, the parents of the slain will mourn. That would be a tragedy to any parent, even if they knew their kid was a gangbanger. We must harden our hearts to this type of tragedy, and simply move on. Let them thin their own herd; their tragedy is our gain (fewer gangbangers = less violence & criminal activity).

      424 suicides (42% of all IL gun deaths) –
      Not an issue. People are allowed to kill themselves if they choose to. Also, they will kill themselves whether they have a gun or not. Did you hear about the guy who killed himself by sawing his own head off with a chainsaw? Yeah…..you might say that he was “motivated” to leave this world. If I’d been there, I would’ve helped him along.

      21 unintentional shootings –
      Accidents? Who is to blame when someone accidentally shoots themselves? A 4th-grader can safely operate a handgun. When younger children shoot themselves by accident, the parent/guardian is to blame. If an adult shoots another adult by accident, that adult shooter should probably have his 2nd amendment rights revoked. He/she should also have his/her drivers license revoked because he/she is clearly not smart enough to pilot a 2500-pound steel box in public either.

      1 legal intervention –
      I’m not sure what this is…..does this mean that there was only one occurrence of a law-enforcement officer shooting a civilian? If so, I’m sure the figure would be quite higher. Death by firing squad, perhaps? Please elaborate!

      4 of undetermined –
      What could this stat possibly represent? The world may never know…..

      Got anything else?


    5. 2nd Amendment
      Criminals love unarmed citizens. More guns in the hands of law abiding citizens equals less crime. Illinois needs to wake up and pass a conceal carry law!

    6. We all know that criminals
      We all know that criminals invade homes. Why do you think that criminals never invade police stations? Is it perhaps because they know that cops are armed? Criminals, who, by the way, have no respect for gun control laws, look for a low risk target in a place where the general population has been legally disarmed. That is one reason why there is so much crime. Gun control laws should be renamed “crime enabling laws” because that is precisely their effect.

      One very easy way to wipe out most crime would simply be to legalize all drugs and realize that drug addiction is a medical and not a criminal problem. Until about a century ago America had no drug laws and drug problems were no worse than alcohol problems today. The first drug prohibition laws were racist in intent and directed at opium smoking Chinese immigrants. They were later expanded to target the drugs of choice of other demonized minorities – Blacks and American Indians.

      No drug control means collapsing prices and no need to commit crimes to finance addiction. How many people commit crimes for beer money? It also means no turf wars among street gangs to grab market share to rake in obscene profits. Furthermore it means that the bloated legal/prison/industrial complex can be dismantled thereby releasing people whose lives were ruined because others puritanically disapproved of what they put in their bodies.

      I urge all those who still believe that gun control is the answer to crime, to demonstrate their commitment to such a crime prevention model and post signs in their home windows announcing to all that their’s is a gun free home!

      1. Criminals love police stations
        What would a criminal want from a police station? Do they keep silver in there and high end stereo equipment in there? Dang, maybe they have money hidden and jewelry.

        Well, actually … check out this story.
        — Bill

        1. Nice- Silver and all
          I wonder if the police notified people who had been robbed prior to this raid. When I was robbed the police told me that I will never see my stuff again. And yet, it could be there. (I am sure it is not there).

          Cops spent a lot of time trying to match that stolen stuff with owners. Some of it already had owner’s name labels when the media got the tour to take the pictures.

        2. yes there actually is quite
          yes there actually is quite a bit of money and narcotics in police stations, not to mention other items of high value.

    7. Going shopping indeed
      It’s too bad that you do not see how adding guns will make homes safer. Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of law abiding people do. If they are heavily armed, instead of good people being killed, bad people will start gettin killed. This is a very positive development 😉

      You are advised to get with the program or you will be socially ostracized by the clear thinking and socially progressive citizens of Evanston. Additionally, your opinions DO NOT count.

  3. Finally, some good news.
    Well, It looks like I’m going shopping tonight, and all Evanstonians will be slightly safer when I return home. Thank you Evanston! The United States of America welcomes you back with open arms, and won’t hold a grudge that you’ve been away for so long.


  4. I am so glad the Evanston
    I am so glad the Evanston gun ban will be history!!!! When I read the paper that Wilmette, Winnetka and Morton Grove were going to drop their bans I was a little nervous that Evanston would be the last holdout. I don’t want my high Evanston taxes wasted on a court battle that would make us the laughing stock of the country. Luckily Evanston made the right decision. It seems that Oak Park will wind up being the laughing stock. I am glad I don’t live there.

  5. Finally……..
    Its about time! Now I can feel safe in my home that I paid for in south evanston without worrying about the ill effects of our neighborhood 24 hour drug ring spilling into my residence.At least I have a fighting chance(legally) now.

  6. The argument over guns
    The argument over gun control is not about safety. No one is arguing that the majority of crimes are committed by criminals – not law abiding citizens. Why do gun owners feel safer with a firearm than without? That’s the question.

    A gun is only useful for self defense if:
    1. you have the gun accessible in the event of an iminent threat
    2. the firearm is properly maintained
    3. the owner knows how to use it in circumstances that do not resemble a gun range

    That’s it. If you can affirm all three, then I have no argument with you.

    1. Language
      1. check!
      2. check!
      3. check!

      I am apparently the ideal gun owner…..and no criminal record!

      Also…check out the language used in this EvanstonNow.com article:
      “The resolution directs the city’s legal staff to develop amendments to the existing ordinance that bars private possession of handguns to comply with the court’s decision that the Second Amendment to the federal constitution gives individuals a right to possess and carry personal weapons for self-defense.”

      The article says that we Evanstonians will also be able to carry our handguns when we leave the house (possess and carry)…..this is great news! I already have the holster picked out and ready for purchase. You will all be safer when I’m around, WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT.


  7. There have been two home
    There have been two home invasions on South Blvd east of Chicago in the last 12 months. The idea that “gangbangers just kill gangbangers” is dead wrong, South Evanston has a persistent crime problem, and, let me tell you, the people I see walking around near Howard are not respecting the law. Especially since every few nights I tend to hear the odd gun shot from the Howard area. To think that the Evanston gun ban did anything at all is naive.

  8. Welcome back!
    Welcome back to the world of the responsible. I can only prove that all guns don’t kill people with my own guns. I had them when my kids were growing up and just like my power tools and alcohol/narcotics, knives and stoves/fireplace. I kept them safe and taught them when I could, how to use them and be safe. I guess this falls under the concept of Darwins law, and the selectivity of nature. Those who are or act stupidly will kill themselves and their progeny. This world is made of three types of people. Sheep, wolves and sheepdogs. Sheep live their lives and pretend that wolves don’t exist. Wolves target sheep, stealing and killing. Sheepdogs look like sheep but are like wolves and choose to interfere when they see wolves attack. The decision to be a sheepdog must be conscious one, a choice to be prepared, capable and willing to fight the wolves. Keeping guns from the people who wish to defend their homes, families and neighborhoods leaves those people powerless. The Police cannot be everywhere and if you ask a street cop, if lawabiding folks should have guns, they’ll usually be thankfull for the help. No one should be forced to own or use guns. But no one should be prohibited from arming themselves. To the sheepdogs of Evanston, welcome back!

  9. I see both sides of this
    I see both sides of this issue. I don’t live in Evanston, but I do own handguns, and though I am a supporter of gun rights I feel that the average gun owner doesn’t really have a good understanding of firearms safety and/or ballistics. This can be especially dangerous in an urban/suburban setting, where a bullet may fly a lot farther and do a lot more damage than the shooter originally intended. And think of kids. How smart are your kids? I’ll bet some of you would be surprised to find out your kids know exactly where your guns are “hidden” and know how to get into whatever locked case they’re in as well.

    Also, some on this thread have stated that gangbangers only kill gangbangers. But that’s placing a lot of trust in a teenaged moron who is probably drunk or high or both when he’s pulling the trigger. My guess, and it’s really only a guess, is that a lot of bullets meant for gangbangers wind up crashing into innocent bedrooms and playgrounds. But then, gangbangers probably aren’t getting their guns legally, either. They’re either buying cheapo Keltecs or stealing nicer guns from legal collections.

    Personally I feel more at ease with pepper spray than a gun.

  10. Still waiting
    Now we just need “king-Daley” to follow this example. I won’t hold my breath for that one though. Last I heard he is planning to fight the Supreme Court ruling, with tax-payer dollars of course. (At a time Chicago is in a major budget crisis.)

    And if that doesn’t raise you blood-pressure enough; About a month or two ago there was a story in the news that said Alderman Dick Mell “forgot” to re-register his gun collection and let it laps for about a month. The response? The powers in city hall are bending the rules so he can now register them and be legal. How many Chicago law abiding gun owners have been in the very same position but had a very different out-come? Must be nice to be part of the royal court.

    Oh, BTW; Alderman Dick Mell is one of the major players that was responsible for writing most of the Chicago gun laws. Now THAT’s a kicker!!!

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *