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Antique guns

Stupid: Even historical museum guns are banned from public display in Chicago

Sunday, May 26, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: antique guns, Chicago, gun control

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(NaturalNews) Just how pervasive is the inane hypersensitivity to guns in Chicago? Bad enough that even inert historical firearms cannot be displayed in the city's history museums.

According to Chicago's longstanding anti-Second Amendment ordinances, city museums are banned from displaying even firearms of historic value. Naturally, these weapons would be a) unloaded; and b) unable to fire even if someone stole one.

That may be about to change. Edward Burke, the city's most powerful alderman who is from the city's 14th District, has introduced an ordinance that would end the current madness and allow display of guns for historical purposes. He might have introduced the new ordinance earlier, but he said he only recently learned of the "anomaly in the city code."

'We should display guns - even in Chicago'

"Museums are caught in a dilemma that if they have in their collections artifacts that can be defined as firearms, even though there's historical significance to the memento, they can't be registered in the city and can't be displayed," Burke said, as reported by DNAInfo Chicago.

In discussing the ordinance, Burke cited as an example Army Maj. General William P. Levine, one of the first U.S. soldiers to liberate Nazi-held prisoners at the Dachau concentration camp during World War II.

After his recent death his family donated a German army Walther PP he acquired during the war to the Pritzker Military Library, but the facility can't display the weapon under the city's current outrageous "no display of guns" rule.

Himself a history expert, Burke said letting museums display guns like those obtained by Levine serves as a reasonable exemption to current rules, especially since museums across the country do so.

"I think in Chicago, museums should have the same opportunity to display articles of historical significance even if they are firearms," said Burke.

Museum curators like Kenneth Clark, the CEO and president of Pritzker, said the city's current policy means Chicagoans and visitors to the city are missing out on plenty of history.

"It's about preserving the stories of citizen soldiers from World War II, World War I ... who have served our country," Clark said, adding that the current code is cloudy on the issue of whether historic guns can even be placed into a museum's archives. As such, the Pritzker Military Library has moved its entire firearms collection to a protected safe at a gun range in the suburbs. He said there is no place on the library grounds to store many guns so the facility has had to turn away people who wanted to donate them as artifacts - not something any museum curator wants to do.

No rampant crimes being committed with antique guns

"The reality is there are a lot of historic firearms sitting across the city in closets and attics that nobody knows what to do with. ... Who knows where they end up," said Clark. "If the city were to have this kind of ordinance, libraries and museums could be places where those firearms go and are taken off the streets and properly secured."

Not that there is rampant crime being committed in Chicago with antique firearms, but I digress. Nonetheless, Clark's facility has extensive security on site, like other museums.

"They are stored in conditions that are likely to be preserved for the long haul," he said. "You're talking about something that is not very accessible."

He added: "There are so many firearms available on the black market in Chicago, it's not likely these are going to be high on the list," he said. "These aren't the guns they want."

And again, even if someone were to steal one of the historic firearms, they couldn't fire it.

"I don't know if someone's going to find ammo for a German handgun from World War II all that readily," said Clark, in reference to Levine's pistol.

Burke's rule change would allow museums to display most "curios and relics," as historical firearms registered with the government are called.

But the entire city council must approve it. If the city's historical breathless insanity regarding firearms is any indication, Chicagoans might never see the rest of their history.

Sources for this article include:




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