The City Council moved Wednesday to both comply with — and undermine Illinois’ new concealed carry law.
The end-run around concealed carry came when aldermen imposed a requirement that Chicago restaurants that serve liquor ban firearms or lose their city licenses.
The ordinance championed by Finance Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) and downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) would exempt stores that sell packaged liquor.
But all other establishments that serve alcohol — not just bars that generate more than half their revenue from liquor — would be required to prohibit firearms on the premises.
Those that refuse and fail to post signs near their entrances declaring their establishments gun-free zones could be stripped of their licenses to do business in Chicago.
Reilly said his downtown ward includes 1,100 liquor license holders who have “legitimate concerns” about allowing their patrons to bring loaded firearms into their establishments.
“Even during the Wild West, when everyone and their brother was carrying a loaded firearm on their hip, many saloon keepers knew well enough to keep these guns and bullets out of their establishments because nothing good could happen,” Reilly said.
“Most of us have seen or heard stories where security for these liquor establishments are trying to remove an inebriated individual and, in some cases, that individual turns violent. They tend to grasp for anything available that could be used as a projectile or blunt instrument. God-forbid that individual makes a poor decision to reach for a loaded firearm.”
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said it “doesn’t take a masters or PhD” to know that guns and booze don’t mix. He’s not concerned that a National Rifle Association that opposed the Brady Bill and the assault weapons ban would be threatening to sue — again.