The National Rifle Association (NRA) is suing San Francisco, Chicago and three Chicago suburbs to overturn their ban on handguns. The mandates against hand guns are being challenged since the recent Supreme Court's ruling in District of Columbia vs. Heller, the 5-4 court decision to recognize the Second Amendment as a personal right to own firearms.
In Chicago, however, gun violence has been on the rise, making Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and others especially resistant to lifting the ban.
This year, murders are up 13 percent. During the last school year, 29 Chicago-area kids were killed by gunfire, according to the Washington Times. On one April weekend, 40 people were shot. Over the July Fourth weekend, nine people were gunned down, with three more killed this past weekend.
Earlier in July, Illnois Govenor Rod Blagojevich offered the National Guard to Mayor Daley as an aid to the ongoing homicide crisis in Chicago. Mayor Daley has not yet accepted, and is currently working with the city to protect the ban on hand guns.
“Removing firearms from the streets of Chicago is a daily battle for the men and women of the Chicago Police Department and the communities they serve," Daley said in press release.
"Too often, when guns are readily available, people use them to resolve conflicts or to take revenge. Others get caught in the line of fire. Young children find guns in their homes and treat them as toys, and end up losing their lives or killing others," he said.
Some citizens remain concerned however that hand gun laws are ineffective, leading to guns only in the hands of the police and criminals. They see it as law-abiding citizens turning in their guns and taxpayers paying money to those who relinquish guns during incentive programs.
On July 26th, the City of Chicago held a gun turnover initiative. In the act of turning in their firearms, no questions were asked and Chicago residents received a $100 prepaid MasterCard for each gun. Last summer, the program resulted in the collection of a record 6,700 guns.