BELLEVUE, WA â€“ The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today that the decision by officials in Wilmette, IL to repeal their 19-year-old handgun ban is â€œa victory of substance over symbolism.â€
CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said the 1989 ban â€“ made infamous five years ago when Wilmette homeowner Hale DeMar shot a career criminal in the act of burglarizing DeMarâ€™s home for the second night in a row â€“ has never shown that it had any impact on violent crime.
â€œIt appears the only people affected by the ban were law-abiding citizens like DeMar who were ensnared by the ordinance for having guns that suddenly became illegal,â€ Gottlieb observed. â€œRepealing the ban makes sense because the ordinance was grounded in nonsense.â€
Wilmette Village President Chris Canning was quoted by a local newspaper noting that â€œI think the strongest option that would give a clean slate to the whole situation would be to repeal the ordinance.â€
â€œWhat about cleaning the slate for any otherwise law-abiding citizen who was convicted and fined under the provisions of this Draconian ordinance,â€ Gottlieb questioned. â€œAny such persons should have their records cleared and their fines returned.
â€œThe Supreme Court has made it clear that outright handgun bans are unconstitutional,â€ he continued. â€œWilmetteâ€™s trustees ought to be congratulated for doing the right thing, even though it took them 19 years to do it. The solution to violent crime is not passing and enforcing laws that treat honest citizens like criminals.
â€œThe Wilmette ban was largely passed as a symbolic gesture,â€ Gottlieb recalled. â€œSymbolism never prevented a single crime, and one does not make socio-political statements at the expense of a fundamental civil right. There are other options that make far more sense than disarming the public. Weâ€™re glad village officials in Wilmette will be exploring those other options, and we hope they consult with gun owners in the process.â€