Illinois Showdown looms on gun control
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Thread: Illinois Showdown looms on gun control

  1. #1
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    Illinois Showdown looms on gun control

    Springfield is headed toward a political showdown over guns, with both sides loading up like they haven't in years.

    The gun owners lobby is close to getting a floor debate in the Legislature on its pinnacle goal of allowing residents to carry concealed handguns in Illinois, which is one of just two states that still outlaw it. (Wisconsin is the other.)

    "It's heating up. We think we're close," said Todd Vandermyde, a National Rifle Association lobbyist who has pushed the concealed-carry proposal in Springfield before. "You've got 48 states that have this. That's a statement."

    Gun control advocates are firing back with bills to create new restrictions on the sale and transfer of those guns, while trying to stop the concealed-carry movement.


    "Arming this state is going to make more and more people feel that they need to protect themselves, and it could escalate all the handguns that are out there," said state Rep. Harry Osterman, D-Chicago, a leading opponent of the concealed-carry proposals.

    The trigger for the surge in gun-related political activity, many say, was a U.S. Supreme Court decision last summer that struck down as unconstitutional a gun ban in the nation's capital.

    Gun control advocates say the case, District of Columbia v. Heller, didn't directly deal with a concealed-carry law and shouldn't have any bearing on that issue.

    "There's certainly a lot more noise about it (based on) their sense that the Supreme Court's decision has maybe helped their efforts a little bit," said Tom Mannard, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, which is trying to stop the NRA measure. "But frankly, I don't think it really is relevant to a lot of what they're discussing" with the concealed-carry legislation.

    The gun lobby counters that the Heller ruling rejects the notion that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution merely gives states the right to raise militias, and doesn't actually bestow an individual right to bear arms.

    The pro-gun forces also note that, in all the states that have allowed concealed handguns in recent years (including Missouri), fears of a Wild West-type shootout erupting among legally armed citizens have yet to materialize. "That's been proven wrong," said Vandermyde.

    Mannard, the gun control advocate, counters: "We haven't seen mayhem in the street that doesn't mean the potential isn't there."

    There are several concealed-carry measures moving through Springfield right now, including one that is poised for a full House vote. It would create the "Family and Personal Protection Act," allowing applicants who undergo strict training and background checks to carry concealed weapons.

    The idea has risen and fallen in Illinois in the past, but a key difference this time is the backing by the Illinois Sheriff's Association, which has previously stayed out of the debate.

    "I think it will reduce crime," said St. Clair County Sheriff Mearl Justus, who was among the association members voting to back the idea. He said he had changed his mind about his earlier concerns that concealed weapons were an intrinsic danger. "I used to feel that way, but 48 states can't be wrong."

    Mannard, of the gun-control group, says that argument clashes with common sense. "If I'm walking down the street, and the neighbor across the street is carrying a loaded 9 millimeter with a 15-round clip, that doesn't make me feel safer."

    The usual complexities of the gun control debate are exacerbated in Illinois by the state's sharp regional differences, which on the issue of guns is more relevant even than partisan differences. In fact, the most fervent advocates on both sides of the issue here are all from the same majority party with Chicago Democrats leading the gun control movement and downstate Democrats pushing for gun-owner rights.

    "We've seen instances in our part of the state where, if someone would have had the ability to have a concealed weapon, they could have thwarted a robbery or an assault," said Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton, whose pro-gun position is typical of downstate lawmakers in both parties. "Missouri has implemented it, and you don't hear any instances where it's caused a problem that people could say, 'See, I told you that was going to happen.'"

    The issue is further complicated by legislative rules in Springfield that have so far prevented passage of a concealed-carry law, even though pro-gun advocates believe they have a majority of legislators in their corner.

    Illinois law says a majority isn't enough to pass a bill if it will infringe on the "home rule" powers of local communities. In those cases, a "supermajority" of three-fifths of lawmakers is needed to pass the bill. In the 118-member House, that translates into 71 votes needed for passage (instead of the standard 60), which the pro-gun lobby is unlikely to muster.

    Gun control advocates say the concealed-carry bill trumps the power of local communities to ban concealed weapons from their streets, and so should require the "supermajority" legislative vote. Gun-rights advocates dispute that.

    The decision is ultimately made, in the House, by Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, who usually sides with gun control advocates.

    "He generally comes down on the side of safety," said Madigan spokesman Steve Brown. "I don't know how anyone can think this (concealed-carry proposal) is something that would enhance safety in Illinois."

    The pro-gun lobby is focusing its efforts largely on getting a ruling that only a simple majority vote is needed in the House. "If not, it will be litigated," said Vandermyde, the NRA lobbyist.

    As the concealed-carry issue continues, the gun-control lobby is pushing its own new initiatives, several of which are focused on getting tighter rules around how guns are sold and transferred.

    Current state law requires licensed gun dealers to run criminal background checks on customers before the sale, but a private citizen who sells to an acquaintance isn't under the same obligation. A key measure filed by Osterman, the House Democrat from Chicago, would put the background-check requirement on those private sales.

    "People who want to buy handguns will be able to," said Osterman, "but the safety of an instant criminal background check, which takes a matter of minutes, will still be in place."

    The concealed-carry bill is HB245. The background-check bill is HB48.

    Source: STLToday


    Memberships: NRA, GOA, USCCA
    Guns: Glock 26, Ruger LCP, Beretta 90-Two .40, Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact 9MM, Beretta Tomcat, Bushmaster Patrolman M4

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  3. #2
    As someone who travels through Illinois, mostly chicago, I would love to see this bill passed, but chicago runs the state so this bill will most likely fail.

  4. #3
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    I would love to see Illinois become a shall-issue state, with (gasp) recognition of my permit. A pleasant fantasy.

    Everyone says the Chicago machine will never allow CC. OK, why not pass a CC bill applying to all parts of Illinois except Chicago and let the Windy City continue to prohibit self defense outside the home? That worked for New York state and New York City.

  5. vlem

    As I understand it, we now have a better chance at getting this passed than we have ever had before. I have heard the upper state Dems might be willing to trade some votes that would enable us to get this passed.

  6. #5
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    HB248 is wrong number

    after talking to Todd... HB0148 concealed carry goes to debate on March 8th

    and HB48 is a shell bill

    Amends the Prevailing Wage Act. Makes a technical change in a Section concerning findings of public bodies and the Department of Labor.
    "Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it."
    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." (Winston Churchill).

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    Is there any way the people can vote on it? I mean through a referendem or something?

  8. #7
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    It won't get past this governer

    The Associated Press asked all the candidates running for governor of Illinois their stance on many issues. One question was "Would you sign or veto legislation allowing concealed-carry for handguns?"

    The answer that then candidate Pat Quinn gave -
    "I would veto legislation allowing concealed-carry for handguns."

    So much for concealed carry in Illinois as long as he is governor.

  9. #8
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    Heller v District of Columbia and later McDonald v City of Chicago both made it clear all citizens (minus felons/mental defectives) have a constitutionally protected individual right to own and carry firearms for self-defense.

    States like IL which fail to enact legislation either allowing open or concealed carry will eventually find convictions for carrying a firearm overturned with increasing frequency.

    When this happens if IL has not enacted something you will see legislators scrambling to do so.
    Last edited by DannyBear71; 02-27-2011 at 02:23 AM. Reason: misspelling error

  10. #9
    It would be nice if 2nd Amendment rights were respected everywhere in the USA.

    Illinois and Chicago (along with other locations) need to stop infringing on them.

    I'm expecting good news on this, I just don't know how soon things will improve there.





    (BTW: 1st post here in a long time ... I'm waiting to see if returning was prudent)
    People don't like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think, don't run, don't walk. We're in their homes and in their heads and we haven't the right. We're meddlesome.--River Tam

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeanT View Post
    The Associated Press asked all the candidates running for governor of Illinois their stance on many issues. One question was "Would you sign or veto legislation allowing concealed-carry for handguns?"

    The answer that then candidate Pat Quinn gave -
    "I would veto legislation allowing concealed-carry for handguns."

    So much for concealed carry in Illinois as long as he is governor.
    it can still happen but here is whats needs...

    a super majority is needed to pass house and senate first...
    goes to quinn... if he vetos it...
    goes to house and senate and a super majority is needed to over ride his vote, which we will have had once just to get it to his desk... so its still do able...
    "Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it."
    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." (Winston Churchill).

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