Kyla Gardner and Quinn Ford
May 9, 2013
The city’s most powerful alderman — Edward Burke (14th) — introduced an ordinance at Wednesday’s City Council meeting that would allow Chicago museums to display unloaded firearms for historical purposes.
Currently, city museums are prohibited from lawfully displaying firearms of historic value, according to the city’s long-standing gun ordinance.
Burke said Wednesday he recently learned of the “anomaly in the city code.”
“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.
Burke cited the example of Major General William P. Levine, one of the very first American soldiers to liberate the Dachau concentration camp during World War II.
Levine’s family donated a German Walther PP he acquired during the war to the Pritzker Military Library following Levine’s death in March, but the library is unable to display the gun under the current ordinance.