The council’s Public Safety Committee on Tuesday recommended approval of a tweak that would cut in half the licensing fee to open up a shooting range. The cost would be $2,000 for two years.
The city also would reduce the minimum distance a gun range would have to be located from homes, parks and houses of worship to 500 feet from 1,000 feet.
The changes would make it easier to put a gun range in Chicago, but another provision of the ordinance would complicate record keeping at such facilities.
It would require gun range owners keep records of everyone who used their facilities after ensuring each patron had a state firearm owner’s identification card and city firearm permit.
Aldermen are retooling the gun-control ordinance they approved a year ago under Mayor Richard Daley. The measure outlawed shooting ranges within city limits, even as it required firearm training for people before they could get a gun permit.
In July, the council approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposal to allow the gun ranges as the city tried to get out front of an anticipated federal appellate court ruling striking down ban on such facilities. Gun ranges had to be confined to manufacturing areas and meet a slew of other restrictions.
But the appellate court ruling forced further changes, said M. Rose Kelly, senior counsel at the city Law Department.
“We were trying to anticipate how the court would rule,” Kelly said. “But now that we have been able to review the ruling and the court’s decision, we’ve looked at the shooting range ordinance and feel that it needs some tweaking in some areas to come into compliance.”
Attorney Walter Maksym, who sued the city on behalf of people who want to sell guns in Chicago, said he believed even the revised shooting range restrictions would be too onerous to pass court muster.