Benson v. Chicago Complaint FINAL[1]

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION BRETT BENSON, RAYMOND SLEDGE, ) KENNETH PACHOLSKI, KATHRYN TYLER, ) and the ILLINOIS ASSOCATION OF ) FIREARMS RETAILERS, ) ) ) Plaintiffs, ) ) v. ) ) THE CITY OF CHICAGO and ) RICHARD M. DALEY, Mayor of the ) City of Chicago, ) ) Defendants. ) FILED: July 6, 2010 Civil Action No. COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF Plaintiffs RAYMOND SLEDGE, BRETT BENSON, KATHRYN TYLER, KENNETH PAC
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  1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOISEASTERN DIVISIONBRETT BENSON, RAYMOND SLEDGE, )KENNETH PACHOLSKI, KATHRYN TYLER, )and the ILLINOIS ASSOCATION OF )FIREARMS RETAILERS, ) FILED: July 6, 2010))Plaintiffs, ))v. ) Civil Action No.)THE CITY OF CHICAGO and )RICHARD M. DALEY, Mayor of the )City of Chicago, ))Defendants. )COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF Plaintiffs RAYMOND SLEDGE, BRETT BENSON, KATHRYN TYLER, KENNETHPACHOLSKI, and the ILLINOIS ASSOCIATION OF FIREARMS RETAILERS, by andthrough their attorneys, for their complaint against Defendants CITY OF CHICAGO andRICHARD M. DALEY,   Mayor, state as follows: INTRODUCTION 1.   This is an action to vindicate the federal constitutional rights of residents of Chicago, Illinois, to keep and bear arms under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to theUnited States Constitution.2.   The Supreme Court has unequivocally declared that the Second Amendment“guarantee[s] the individual right to possess and carry” arms.  District of Columbia v. Heller  , 128S. Ct. 2783, 2797 (2008). In particular,  Heller  struck down a ban on the possession of handguns,  2“the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home.”  Id. at 2818. TheCity of Chicago (“the City”) has long denied this fundamental right to its citizens, banning in1982 all possession of handguns for any purpose whatsoever. On June 28, 2010, in  McDonald v.City of Chicago , 561 U.S. __, No. 08-1521, slip op. (2010) (attached as Ex. A), the SupremeCourt made clear that, like other fundamental constitutional rights, the right to keep and beararms is protected against infringement by state and local governments. Accordingly, the City’stotal ban on handgun possession was patently unconstitutional.3.   As the Supreme Court has noted, the City views the Second Amendment as “asecond-class right,” id. at 33 (plurality opinion), to be “singled out for … specially unfavorable []treatment,” id. at 31 (majority opinion), and thus the City promptly enacted an ordinanceimposing a host of new restrictions that have the purpose and effect of preventing Plaintiffs andother law-abiding residents of Chicago from exercising their fundamental right to keep and carryfirearms for self defense and other lawful purposes. PARTIES 4.   Plaintiff Brett Benson is a resident of Chicago and a citizen of the United States.5.   Plaintiff Raymond Sledge is a resident of Chicago and a citizen of the UnitedStates.6.   Plaintiff Kenneth Pacholski is a resident of Chicago and a citizen of the UnitedStates.7.   Plaintiff Kathryn Tyler is a resident of Chicago and a citizen of the United States.8.   The Illinois Association of Firearms Retailers (“ILAFR”) is a non-profit entityorganized under the law of Illinois and Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code topromote the interests of the firearms retail industry and the protection of Second Amendment  3rights. Its principal place of business is in Carbondale, Illinois. Its members engage in the saleof firearms, the operation of shooting ranges, and the operation of combined retailoperations/firing ranges in Illinois and several members would, if permitted, operate retailestablishments and shooting ranges in Chicago.9.   Defendant City of Chicago is a political subdivision of the State of Illinois.Defendant Richard M. Daley is the Mayor of Chicago, which is his principal place of business.He is sued in his official capacity. The City of Chicago, Mayor Daley, and their officers, agents,and employees will sometimes hereafter be referred to as “Defendants.” JURISDICTION  10.   Jurisdiction is founded on 28 U.S.C. § 1331 in that this action arises under theConstitution of the United States, and under 28 U.S.C. § 1343(3), in that this action seeks toredress the deprivation, under color of law, of rights secured by the United States Constitution.11.   This action seeks relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202, and 42 U.S.C. §1983. Venue is proper in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). BACKGROUND 12.   On June 28, 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States held in  McDonald v.Chicago , No. 08-1521 that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms restrains stateand local governments through incorporation in the Fourteenth Amendment.13.   The Supreme Court remanded the case for the lower courts to apply the SecondAmendment to the challenged Chicago ordinance that effectively banned private ownership of handguns within the city. In anticipation that the ordinance challenged in  McDonald  would bestruck down, the City Council of Chicago, on July 2, 2010, amended the Municipal Code of Chicago as it pertains to firearms (“the Ordinance”) (a copy is attached as Ex. B).  414.   In his statements during the July 2, 2010 City Council meeting, Alderman Fiorettideclared that the vindication of Second Amendment rights in  McDonald  “was not a gooddecision for law-abiding citizens.” Alderman Solis concurred, stating that “the decision made bythe Supreme Court is not really in the best interests of our citizens.” Alderman Dixon denouncedwhat she called the Court’s “blatant … misreading of the law.” Another city council memberlikewise criticized the Justices of the Supreme Court, saying that “[w]e’re here today because of their poor judgment … of how life is in large urban settings and cities like … Chicago. I don’tknow how they can say we would be safer by allowing individuals, even if they are law-abidingcitizens, to own and possess firearms in their homes.”15.   Alderman Lyle forecast that future generations would react to the SupremeCourt’s decision in  McDonald  with “shock and awe. They will be amazed that in a country thatis a leader of the free nations that we have such a reckless love affair with guns,” and thatAmericans would actually spend time and money “litigating and discussing whether or notpeople have the right to carry many mass weapons of destruction. … They’re going to wonderwhat madness overtook this country. But that’s where we find ourselves. … We find ourselveswith a court that used to be occupied by literary legal giants, who now use this to take a slap atthe leaders of the City of Chicago.”16.   Alderman Hairston complained about what he described as “the message theSupreme Court is sending. I think that’s the same message that the gang bangers are sending,that a life is not valuable. That truly hurts my soul here. I have to say it: I think the SupremeCourt is wrong. Just like they’ve been wrong before.”17.   Alderman Mary Ann Smith echoed her fellows on the City Council, vowing tolimit gun ownership with new legal restrictions and thanking “everyone who has worked to try
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