How Rhonda Ezell Is Fighting For Chicago’s Gun Rights

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Rhonda Ezell came to prominence as the face of a federal lawsuit to make legal gun ownership in Chicago more accessible. Now she’s advocating that people of the city exercise that right.

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Chicago Guns Matter is a pro-gun organization that Ezell founded to encourage natives of the Windy City to protect themselves in a place suffering from exercise gun violence.

“The goal of Chicago Guns Matter is to educate the black and urban communities on how to legally possess and obtain an Illinois concealed carry license, as well as educate them on the plaintiffs who’ve stood up for them and fought for their rights and are still fighting for their rights,” Ezell shared with Guns.com.

Ezell had first gotten involved with Chicago’s firearm scene after coming off life support. She had the victim of multiple break-ins and violent threats when she learned that the Supreme Court had ruled Chicago’s handgun ban unconstitutional. 

“When I saw [the news] that you could now own a handgun in the city of Chicago I wanted to comply with that,” Ezell said.

However shortly following the court’s decision, lawmakers in the city moved fast to substitute the ban for a system that would serve the purpose of limiting gun ownership.

This led Ezell to contact the Illinois State Rifle Association to see if her Second Amendment rights were being infringed. Confirmation of that led to the case of Ezell v Chicago. 

The case spanned seven years and Ezell’s co-counsel attorney David Sigale explained that they had to have multiple lawsuits, ranging in fights against the city’s ban on ranges to challenging new and unfair zoning laws.

“The court even stated that the city was ‘trying to be too clever by half’ and was ‘thumbing its municipal nose at the Supreme Court’ in doing what it was doing, and it was blatant,” Sigale said.

Ezell and Sigale won the last case in 2017. While the win did involve conceding that ranges would be prohibited from being built within 500 feet of sensitive areas, it won in numerous other ways including allowing minors to enter gun ranges when supervised by an adult. 

“The Ezell case has in many ways set the standard for legality on how Second Amendment cases get analyzed. Is it the only one? No, of course, but is it very important? Yeah,” Sigale said.

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