Chicago may have some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country, but that hasn’t dissuaded tens of thousands of city residents from going through the cumbersome process of obtaining their concealed carry license. As a result defensive gun uses, once nearly unheard of in the city, have become far more common.
The latest example of a legally-armed resident protecting themselves with a firearm happened over the weekend, according to Chicago police, who say the manager of an auto parts store in the Calumet Heights neighborhood shot and killed a robber who had pointed a gun at him.
According to the Chicago Police Department, a 30-40-year-old man entered an auto parts store in the 9100 block of South Stony Island Avenue around 2:30 p.m., pulled out a gun, and demanded money from the cash register.
Police said the store manager, who is a valid FOID holder, pulled out a gun and fired shots, hitting the 30-40-year-old man, who was then taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.
Thankfully it sounds like the store manager was unharmed in the brazen broad daylight robbery attempt, which took place just hours after Chicago police reported on a wave of armed robberies committed by a separate group of suspects; at least eleven incidents in six different neighborhoods around the city between the hours of 3 and 7 a.m.
With incidents like these happening across the city on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that more Chicagoans are choosing to obtain a concealed carry license, even though it means leaving the city and heading to the suburbs to get the training required under Illinois law in order for them to be approved. As Fox News reported last month, since 2020 there have been at least 44 defensive gun uses recorded in the city, though the number is likely higher than that.
The dozens of documented incidents include concealed carry holders thwarting a car burglary and a would-be carjacker, a resident with a CCW who intervened when he heard a disturbance coming from his neighbor’s home and found a man wielding a knife, and a CCW holder who disrupted a shooting that left one woman dead and two men injured.
In one incident in 2021, a female CCW holder celebrated having her gun on her when criminals approached her outside a bank after she had withdrawn a fistful of cash.
“Thank God I had my gun, or I’d probably be dead right now,” the woman told CBS Chicago at the time, noting that a suspect “looked surprised” when she pulled out her gun and sent the criminals running.
Well, for many years Chicago’s violent criminals didn’t have to worry too much about running across a legally-armed citizen. The city banned handguns from 1982 until the Supreme Court struck down the prohibition in 2010, and Illinois didn’t allow for bearing arms either openly or concealed until 2013, when lawmakers chose to adopt a “shall issue” regime rather than defend its carry ban before SCOTUS.
Chicago still hasn’t made it easy for residents to exercise their right to carry. There are no gun stores inside the Chicago city limits, and no ranges available for residents either. The price of training and application fees means it costs more than $400 to obtain a carry license, which is a further burden on residents. Still, as of 2016 nearly 50,000 Cook County residents had obtained a carry license, and defensive gun uses like the one reported on Saturday afternoon have become more common over the past few years. Unfortunately Chicago still has plenty of would-be armed robbers, carjackers, and other violent criminals on the streets, but at least the number of armed citizens prepared to fight back is growing larger by the day.