Coming off the heels of last weekend's heavy losses due to shooting violence in America's most gun-regulated city, Chicago's Finance Committee voted today to approve an anti-gun ordinance that would require certain businesses to post signs declaring a firearm-free zone, or risk losing their liquor license. The ordinance denies the ability of business owners to choose for themselves whether to allow or disallow guests to carry firearms in their establishments. The ordinance passed even though no concrete evidence was presented that such an ordinance would reduce crime and in fact, there is evidence to suggest it could increase gun related crime.
Glenn Keefer's restaurant has voluntarily posted a sign at his business telling patrons and criminals there are no guns permitted on his premises. Keefer said, "I just feel that having guns in places that serve alcohol, loaded weapons, it just doesn't go." Keefer has drawn a hard line denying potential customers the ability to carry their weapon even if they are only a guest for dinner and consume no alcohol. Keefer also opens himself up to the potential for increased gun related crime now that criminals know they will face little opposition. Criminals decision to commit a crime is based on opportunity and a gun free zone is the perfect opportunity.
Concealed carry laws have reduced murder and crime rates in the states that have enacted them. According to the University of Chicago study by David Mustard which reviewed crime statistics in every county in the United States from 1977 to 1992, states which passed concealed carry laws reduced their rate of murder by 8.5%, rape by 5%, aggravated assault by 7% and robbery by 3%.
CDC admits there is no evidence that gun control reduces crime. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has long been criticized for propagating questionable studies which gun control organizations have used in defense of their cause. But after analyzing 51 studies in 2003, the CDC concluded that the "evidence was insufficient to determine the effectiveness of any of these [firearms] laws." Cam Edwards spoke at the 11th Annual Independence Institute's ATF party saying, "If gun control worked, Chicago would be Mayberry right now!"
The State of Illinois will begin to comply with the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment next year, however still could face opposition in federal court as the state law still bans concealed carry permit holders the ability to walk into a business which derives more than 50 percent of its sales from serving alcohol. Chicago's ordinance would not apply to grocery stores and liquor stores that sell packaged liquor.
"It's ridiculous. They're just trying to throw their weight around. . .and see how far they can push gun owners once again. Gun owners in this state are tired of being pushed," said Richard Pearson, executive director, Illinois State Rifle Association. "It's pre-empted by state law. The state law presides over concealed carry firearms. And whether the city of Chicago likes it or not, that's the law of the land."
Libertarians feel that a business owner should have the right to decide what happens in their own business and should not be told by the government what they can and cannot do. Libertarians believe in a true free market and it should be up to them if it is a good or bad business decision to allow guns in their establishment or not. There are also some libertarians that feel the Second Amendment trumps the property rights of the business owner and one should be able to carry their gun with or without the property or business owner's permission.