7/12/2010 4:54pm, #11
7/13/2010 4:47pm, #12
7/14/2010 1:51am, #13
Greg, the short answer is "yes." Chicago's "Responsible Gun Ownership Ordinance" allows Chicagoans to register one gun per month (IF they meet the requirements, pay the money, take the classes, etc.) However, all guns except for one per registered gun owner per household must be either disassembled or locked up. The one operable weapon has to be kept on your person in the home if there are minors present.
And "in the home" has a very specific meaning in this ordinance. It applies to "the inside of a dwelling unit, commonly used for living purposes" and specifically excludes "lawns, porches, steps, side or back stairs, garages whether attached or unattached, outbuildings, etc." and also excludes "group living settings" such as dormitories, domestic violence or homeless shelters, and hotels.
Now, there is a catch. If you're somehow caught with your weapon in your garage or on the back porch, you're in violation. The penalties are pretty stiff for a municipal ordinance, and you get added to the "Gun Offender Registry" which means you can never register a firearm in Chicago again.
But if you use your gun in self-defense in that same garage or yard, and you have an Illinois FOID card, Chicago can't prosecute you, because the legislature exempted firearms actually used in self-defense from local law after a homeowner named Hale Demar shot a burglar returning for the second consecutive night and was subsequently prosecuted by his town under its handgun ban.