Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Its Time For Concealed Handgun Carry In Illinois

There's a world that exists outside of myopic Chicagoland and beyond the view of the Daley "political machine" that runs it. There are actually normal, sane, thinking people in the heartland of Illinois and the rest of America away from the "Chicago Machine" that aren't like Mayor Daley, Rod Blogojevitch, Roland Burris, and Barak Obama. It defies logic to believe that many Chicagoans don't agree with Chicago's gun laws and the "machine mentality."

There are also people outside the Windy City machine who have the unmitigated gall to believe that they can run their own lives, pay their own bills, and protect and raise their own families better than the cogs in the "Chicago Machine" say they can.

Hardly a day goes by without a story in the Chicago news media about a shooting, or multiple shootings, in this city that does not allow any handguns to be possessed by any of its citizens. How can daily shootings happen in one of the biggest handgun free zones in America? How is it possible that criminals will still rape, rob, and shoot in total disregard of the city's gun laws in such an unarmed and sheltered city?

Past experiences and recent news has shown that the "Chicago Machine" extends it's sticky tentacles into the Governor's office, the State Legislature in Springfield, and even the United States House and Senate.

The convoluted and ineffective "Chicago Machine" anti handgun logic is shown in the namesake and the body of the Chicago inspired anti gun plan in the recently introduced H.R.45, titled "Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009." Blair Holt, was shot and killed with a handgun already made illegal in Chicago. How can possession of handguns be made more illegal?

This bill, introduced by "former" Black Panther member and U.S. House member Bobby Rush, of where else but Chicago, is an attempt to extend the failed "Chicago Machine" mentality into our national laws. Fortunately, the Bill of the "former" Black Panther who spent his own six months in jail on gun charges has yet to find a cosponsor.

In reality, it does look like more gun laws are needed in Illinois. But, not the kind that the "Chicago political machine" or the land of Oz Bradys want. The people of Illinois, like the rest of us, deserve to carry concealed handguns.

Illinois House Bills 245 and 462 would let Illinois residents obtain a license to carry a concealed firearm outside of their home. HB 245 has the Illinois State Police issuing the permits, and HB 462 would give the job to the county sheriff.
Its called the Family and Personal Protection Act. Who wouldn't love a law with a name like that?

The Illinois Sheriff's Association recently passed a resolution supporting concealed carry for its citizens for the first time in their 81 year history. Generally, law enforcement officers nationwide believe they have nothing to fear from concealed handgun permit holders. The Sheriffs stand in being for concealed carry in Illinois speaks loudly for a change.

Anti gun groups like Brady always have dire predictions about the safety of police and shootouts at every traffic accident when there are legal handgun carried. The sheriffs' resolution makes those claims more Brady lies. It is time for Sarah Brady, Paul Helmke, and other anti gun group heads to get real jobs, and stop living off their transparent lies.

Even the editorial staff of one Illinois newspaper has come around. The Galesberg Citizen- Register newspaper recently editorialized for the change saying that law-abiding citizens should be able to carry concealed firearms.

The time has come for laws allowing concealed handgun carry everywhere, even in holdouts of Illinois and Wisconsin. But the concealed carry laws must be uniform throughout the state. Sometimes, in passing a state concealed permit law, compromises are made. That's how laws pass. However, sometimes these compromises allow local municipal gun laws that are totally different from the state's law.

Municipalities should not be able to trump state law by passing their own more restrictive gun laws. There is no doubt they would do exactly that to circumvent state law. They have done that before in other states.

There are two "musts" for new Illinois Gun laws. First, the laws must state clearly that the issuing authorities "Shall Issue" permits, and not "May Issue" permits. "May Issue" laws are discretionary and still prevent permits going into the hands of the majority of the common citizens. The recipients of "May Issue" permits usually only go to the politically well connected.

And the laws must be uniform statewide. Cities that have passed their own gun laws that are counter to state gun carry laws have created confusion everywhere they are in effect. A person with a gun permit cannot travel between the many cities and municipalities on an interstate or state highway, and possibly know the local gun laws in each town passed through unless they are uniform statewide. They can be made unknowing criminals.

Illinois should incorporate a preemption provision into their own new carry law that will not allow municipalities to enforce their own local laws that replace Illinois state law within their boundaries.

A good model for preemption is found in neighboring Michigan. State law there is clear that Michigan municipalities must follow the state's concealed handgun law, with no exceptions. The law says, "A local unit of government shall not impose special taxation on, enact or enforce any ordinance or regulation pertaining to, or regulate in any other manner the ownership, registration, purchase, sale, transfer, transportation, or possession of pistols or other firearms, ammunition for pistols or other firearms, or components of pistols or other firearms, except as otherwise provided by federal law or a law of this state." That sounds clear and concise, doesn't it?

But, municipalities will still need to be spanked sometimes to get them in line. With the passage of the Michigan's concealed carry law, the City of East Lansing immediately disregarded it and passed a local ordinance that banned handguns in city parks, city parking lots, and other city property.

An appeal was heard by the state's Appellate court, and a stay was issued that prevented the city from enforcing the anti gun ordinance in the meantime while the case awaited hearing in court. The city attorney's office should have known better. The city lost, and the taxpayer's money was squandered in defending the law in court.
But, costs did't matter because it was the taxpayers money.

State law trumped East Lansing's gun ordinance, and the ordinance was repealed.
It may be that the writing is on the wall for Illinois and Wisconsin too.


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Anonymous said...

BRILLIANT article! I couldn't agree more on this matter. Would be criminals might just thinks twice before trying to steal my wallet if they have a suspicion that I may just have a pistol in my jacket.. It'll only allow the law abiding citizens to better keep their communities crime free.