Posted: 12/24/2012 8:24:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/24/2012 8:25:01 AM EST by ReverendPowell]
|Originally Posted By SilverLamp:
Chicago is a de jure home-rule unit. Illinois Constitution, Article VII, Section 6.
"If a home rule county ordinance conflicts with an ordinance of a municipality, the municipal ordinance shall prevail within its jurisdiction." Id
. Therefore, where the Municipal Code of Chicago and the Cook County Code conflict, the MCC governs.
The problem for you is that the Chicago and Cook County AWB's do not conflict with each other. The goal of each AWB is to restrict firearm ownership. With that understanding, the Cook county AWB supplements the Chicago AWB. If a firearm is seemingly permitted under the MCC, but is prohibited under Cook County Code, the firearm is nevertheless prohibited in Chicago. The firearm will be prohibited in Chicago because, again, the Cook county AWB supplements, and is not excluded by, the Chicago AWB.
Of course, you're free to argue that Chicago and Cook county's AWB's are mutually exclusive and that Chicago's AWB is the controlling, exclusive law in Chicago. If you find a lawyer willing to make that argument, I'd like to shake his hand.
Thank you for your response; very good stuff. It looks like where my argument may falter is establishing that there is a conflict between the Chicago AWB and the Cook County AWB. If I want to register a Mini-14, I think my argument is going to look like this (and let me know if you think I'm wrong):
1. Under the Cook County AWB, the Ruger Mini-14 is banned. (Absolutely true and easy to prove.)
2. Under the Chicago AWB, the Ruger-Mini 14 is not banned because although it is a semi-automatic rifle that can accept a detachable magazine, it does not have any of the listed qualities to make it an "assault weapon." (I think I'm right here and this should theoretically be easy to prove so long as my Mini-14 doesn't have a flash suppressor, pistol grip, folding stock, etc.)
3. Chicago is a home rule unit under the Illinois Constitution. (Absolutely true and easy to prove. See Illinois Const., Arti. VII, Sec. 6.)
4. The Chicago AWB and Cook County AWB conflict as to whether the Ruger Mini 14 is an "assault weapon" and thus a prohibited firearm in each respective governmental unit. (This may prove difficult to establish b/c, as you pointed out, there is the argument that they don't actually conflict, but rather, the Cook County AWB supplements the Chicago AWB.)
5. Assuming there is a conflict between the Cook County AWB and the Chicago AWB, the Chicago AWB prevails (and the Cook County AWB is inapplicable) because of the Illinois Constitution, Article VII, Section 6(c) ("If a home rule county ordinance conflicts with an ordinance of a municipality, the municipal ordinance shall revail within its jurisdiction.").
So point no. 4 is where I will probably run into trouble. The City's argument will be as you described it (the Cook County AWB supplements the Chicago AWB). You may be right, but I think I need to research two things.
First, how does one establish that a municipality's ordinance conflicts with a county's ordinance for purposes of applying Section 6(c) of Section VII of the Illinois Constitution. Hopefully there is some case law on this point that I can dig up.
Second, what type of law does a municipality need to write to establish that the municipality wants its own rules under home rule for a certain topic. We know other municipalities in Cook County have home rule on the issue of assault weapons (for example, I've heard that Lyons, Des Plaines, and Streamwood all have their own ordinances that somehow make the Cook County AWB inapplicable). What type of law did these cities write to make the Cook County AWB inapplicable under home rule? Do you need a specific law saying "Any county ordinance regarding the legality of assault weapons is hereby inapplicable." Or is any type of firearm law good enough to signal that the municipality has its own rules for firearms, including "assault weapons"?
Now I'm really tempted to buy a Ruger Mini-14 and go all the way with this.