- April 16, 2018 at 10:31 pm #50127ArtfulParticipant
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Chicago aldermen scale back ban on civilians wearing body armor
Chicago aldermen voted Monday to scale back a recently enacted ban on civilians wearing body armor.
The proposed changes would allow journalists to wear body armor, such as bulletproof vests, while on the job. Actors also would be allowed to wear protection “solely as props” when making movies, TV shows or videos.
In addition, the city would put a pause on the ban for about four months as the Illinois General Assembly considers statewide restrictions.
“The devil’s in the details,” said Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, chairman of the Finance Committee that voted to recommend changing the ordinance. “Apparently there are far more people using these devices than we imagined, and there’s also pending a state law.
“I think we all agree it would be far better to have statewide regulation rather than piecemeal regulation by municipalities all throughout the state.”
Aldermen quickly pushed through the ban last month on the sale, purchase or possession of body armor by people other than members of the military, police officers or other emergency responders like firefighters acting in their official capacities.
The ordinance was a response to the Feb. 13 shooting death of Chicago police Cmdr. Paul Bauer near the Thompson Center. Shomari Legghette, who is charged with murder in the case, was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time. The 44-year-old four-time felon already was banned from buying or wearing body armor because of his criminal record. The Chicago ordinance, however, extended a much wider net than the state prohibition by barring body armor use by all civilians.
After Bauer’s death, state lawmakers introduced a measure to ban high-capacity magazines and raise penalties for the unlawful use of body armor, but it has yet to be voted on in the House. Sponsoring Rep. Dan Burke, D-Chicago, is pushing changes that would allow retired police officers, prison guards and other former law enforcement officials to own body armor without penalties.
In other action Monday:
— Aldermen opted not to move forward with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s ordinance that would require banks and other financial institutions that work with the city to take on arms-selling customers only if they meet certain restrictions.
Co-sponsor Burke held the measure in his Finance Committee after a bank industry representative testified that it likely would be illegal for the city to attempt to set rules limiting financial institutions’ relationships the with the legal firearms industry.
Ben Jackson of the Illinois Bankers Association said it would be extremely tough for banks to make sure none of their customers had clients who violated the city’s proposed guidelines, which included selling guns or bullets only to people 21 or older; requiring background checks on all gun sales; banning the sale of bump stocks that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire bullets at nearly the speed of machine guns; and not selling high-capacity magazines.
Burke said the city would work with the banking industry to try to figure out new standards.
— Taking on another issue that has been in the news lately, the Finance Committee voted to codify an executive order Emanuel issued last week to prevent the city from requesting prior wage history of job applicants as a condition of employment . It also would prevent city contractors from asking the question.
The idea, aldermen said, is to help narrow the wage gap between men and women in similar jobs. Wendy Pollack, director of the Women’s Law and Policy Initiative at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, said “prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about their salary history is one of the steps we can take to close the gender wage gap.”
Wonder if the Alderman knows it’s a Federal crime to use body armor in commission of a crime?
But then again it’s against the law to use a gun in commission of a crime.
And a crime by definition is doing something illegal. They just don’t get it do they.
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