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More on the Illinois Shenanigans

John Richardson tells the story:

Senate President Cullerton’s aim is to preserve home rule on firearms laws. His strategy seems to be to use the Raoul bill as his bargaining chip. In other words, he’ll be willing to trade off the worst parts of the Raoul bill in exchange for the ability of Chicago and its suburbs to still have their local gun control laws.

Read the whole sorry story. I’d suggest no deal. If they ram through a crappy bill, we’ll see them back in court. You can’t have the Second Amendment mean something different than it does in Peoria. That the right should be uniform is a basic tenant, otherwise it’s no right.

20 Responses to “More on the Illinois Shenanigans”

  1. Shootin' Buddy says:

    The House Bill was a stab in the back to gun owners.

    No bill. Kill it with fire. Let Illinois become Wyoming!

    • The Jack says:

      Just to ask, but the 7th ruling doesn’t prohibit may issue or municipalities passing their own carry laws? Or does it?

      Because if it doesn’t then only parts of Illinois will be Wyoming. Others will be NYC.

  2. Don Gwinn says:

    We’ll try to kill it, of course, but remember that the home rule setup (with about 200 home rule municipalities who can all make their own gun laws) is the status quo in Illinois. That’s why statewide preemption on all gun law was such a big bone to throw pro-gun groups in Illinois; it would be a massive change (not entirely for the better, actually, depending on your point of view–but for the most part, so much better that it would have been worth the other restrictions.)

    Now we’re at the point where the House and Senate basically agree that RTC is coming, that it will be shall-issue, and that it will be statewide, with preemption for all regulation of carry. That is a HUGE victory in Illinois. Remember that when we started this final round of beanball (and I’m not talking about years ago when I started, or 20 years ago when others were working on the same goal) the other side’s position was that they would accept only may-issue or, failing that, an exemption for Chicago and Cook County that essentially made them no-carry zones. Now there are no legislators on either side of the issue still advocating that.

    I know it’s not everything we want, and I know the shortcomings are frustrating. But it boggles me to see so many ready to give up major ground that wasn’t easy to win.

    • The Jack says:

      Really? Have the conceded to state-wide shall issue?

      That is a big thing.

      And damn, I knew there were a lot of home rule places but 200? Yeah, that’s a minefield right there.

      I guess a question is if Madigan feels affronted by having “his” bill get shot down.

      • Don Gwinn says:

        Home rule powers fall on every municipality with a population greater than 25,000 in Illinois. That’s why when people from outside the state think of “home rule” or “local control” they don’t always realize how fragmentary that makes things in Illinois.
        And that doesn’t include all the legislation that specifically exempts every county with a population slightly less than Cook County (where Chicago is located.) Since no other county is even close, that amounts to exempting Cook County from all kinds of state laws that would apply everywhere else, even in home rule areas.

        Preemption is a HUGE deal, and it’s important to note that in the “old days” before the 7th Circuit ruling, our proposed RTC bills were usually asking for preemption only on the RTC issue, not on other gun laws. You see, in the Illinois legislature, it takes a simple majority to pass a bill *unless* it overrides home rule (preemption, in other words.) If it overrides home rule–if you want your carry permit to be issued and honored in Chicago, for instance–then it takes a 3/5 “Supermajority” to pass. That’s why we couldn’t get RTC for all those years. We’ve gotten solid majorities in both houses over and over, but we’ve always been a few votes short of a supermajority (but to be fair, you need that to override a veto anyway, and our governors have always vowed to veto RTC.)

  3. Joe Huffman says:

    Chicago should no more have “home rule” over the Second Amendment than Mobile Alabama should have had over the Thirteenth Amendment.

    • Don Gwinn says:

      I agree, but it’s like telling a grizzly he has no right to the deer you shot. You’re right, but he’ll probably fight you for it anyway.
      We can fight them in the legislature or the courts. The legislature works better in most respects, so if we can do it there, we should. If we’re force to resort to the courts, we’ll go there, but there are no guarantees there, either.

  4. Sigivald says:

    (Nitpick: Tenet, not tenant…)

  5. beatbox says:

    They are claiming the bill has preemption for concealed carry..HOWEVER, that does not cover transport and posession. So if you did carry in Illinois, you would be arrested for possession of an unregistered gun and not having a CFP.

    • Don Gwinn says:

      Yes, if you’re from Chicago. If you’re from out of town, you don’t need the CFP, nor do you have to register your firearm, at least as the bills are put together now.

      There was a negotiation session today, but your guess is as good as mine as to what they discussed. Supposedly, Sen. Raoul is budging a little on his bill (the one that has preemption only for carry) but that’s just a rumor at the moment. Who knows?

      • Thirdpower says:

        and all the ’10 rnd mag bans’ in the Home Rule areas makes me a criminal in those areas if I happen to cross the street in the wrong place. Of course watching the Exec. Committee, that’s exactly what they’re going for with that ‘ if you’re violating municipal ordinances, you’re not a law abiding gun owner’ crap.

  6. Publicola says:

    An aside – though I think it’s an important one. You’re not talking about RTC (assuming you mean Right To Carry). You’re talking about a permit system, and having to bend your knee to anyone would indicate that it’s not a Right. Anything that requires a permit or license is a privilege. The more pro gun folks get those two confused, the harder it’ll be for the actual Right to be understood, let alone respected.

    Overall though I’d have declined any deal & insisted upon decriminalization of carry. It doesn’t matter how nice a bone they toss, when you sit down to negotiate a Right you’ve already conceded too much ground. It’s not a hip & trendy strategy these days, but over something like this it’s better to stand your ground & lose than to compromise & think you’ve gained something. Over time it’ll usually turn out that you’ve lost even what you thought you negotiated for.

    • Don Gwinn says:

      There are four states that have a no-permit-required system, which sounds like what you would call “right-to-carry.”

      One, Vermont, simply declined to create a permitting system or to prohibit carry; its system is simply a holdover from the time when many states allowed carry without permits.

      The other three, Alaska, Arizona and Wyoming, all transitioned from permit systems to no-permit or hybrid systems.

      Zero states have gone from prohibition to no-permit systems directly.

      Illinois has had a strict prohibition against the carrying of loaded weapons in public for a LONG time. The last time the legislature passed a RTC bill, the governor vetoed it and they failed to override–twenty long years ago. Respectfully, after you’d declined to negotiate and insisted upon no-permit carry, what then? How would you have enforced your insistence? What would be your plan for forcing at least a majority of legislators in both houses of the Illinois legislature to go along with that plan? Remember, you need a majority to stop even a may-issue bill, and the majority of the legislators in both houses come from Chicagoland. Even if you managed that feat, you’d then have 208 home-rule municipalities to deal with, and each and every one could pass its own ordinances (as could all 102 counties.) Even the ones “on our side” would inevitably contradict each other, while the Chicagos and the East St. Louises of the world would stagger you. As an example, Chicago just unveiled its own ordinance that it plans to put into place if the June 9th deadline passes (or if a deal without preemption is made, although that looks extremely unlikely today.) Their bill (which, remember, they think of as a “compromise”) calls for $300 fees and 40 hours of training . . . and it’s still may-issue, based on “need.” Cook County, where Chicago is located, has their own bill ready to go; it’s also may-issue with a $300 fee, and you’d need both to carry in Chicago. Sherriff Dart stated in introducing the bill that “need” would be partly evaluated by address; if you live in a low-crime area of Cook County, you’d be assumed not to qualify.

      Look, I understand what you want, and I want it, too. But what people don’t get is that when they say “We should do this” or “We should do that” is that “We” in this instance includes such undesirable members of the team as John Cullerton, Michael Madigan, and Pat Quinn. Those people are in this process whether we like it or not.

      It’s not a hip & trendy strategy these days, but over something like this it’s better to stand your ground & lose than to compromise & think you’ve gained something. Over time it’ll usually turn out that you’ve lost even what you thought you negotiated for.

      I want to ask a serious question, and I promise I’ll read your answer carefully and think carefully about it. Assuming a bill basically like the ones in the Illinois Senate right now gets passed and signed into law, Illinois will go from total prohibition to shall-issue, statewide, even in Chicago, with all Chicago laws preempted for purposes of carrying there. How can that be spun as an illusion of gain? How do you figure nothing has been gained on the day that Illinois citizens in Chicago can carry firearms for defense of themselves and others?

  7. Publicola says:

    Actually Vermont went from a prohibition on concealed carry directly to constitutional carry. A judge looked at the constitution, decided it actually meant what it said, & struck down the law making concealed carry illegal. That was in 1903 if I recall.

    & it’s not what I call Right to carry – a no permit system is Right to carry. A permit system is more correctly described as privilege to carry. Words have meanings, & the more we confuse a word with another concept the more complex things become.

    Another example – you mention states that “allowed” carry without a permit. That has all the legitimacy of me “allowing” you to read the epic of Gilgamesh. It is not in the states’ legitimate power to “allow” or deny a Natural Right, just as I have no say over what you read or don’t read.

    Getting to your question – & this is a very simplified explanation – Lockean based Property Rights (what we’d call a Natural Right) pre-date government. Therefore government has no justifiable rationale for tampering with them. Of interest to us is the Right to weapons. That covers ownership as well as portage. Government has no reason to punish, prohibit or chill someone who merely possesses a weapon, whether in their own home or on or about their person.

    When you sit down at the table & negotiate any aspect of this, you’re ceding the idea that government does have some just authority to interfere with the exercise of that Right. In the short term you go from no carry to carry with a permit system you may find favorable. In the long term though you lose the ability to argue that government cannot tamper with that Right, & your arguments appear weaker when a legislature sits down to curtail or even roll back your acceptable permit system to an unacceptable one, or even back to a complete prohibition.

    Also, getting back to the semantic point, there is a danger is permit systems that is not unfounded; if you confuse a permit system with a Right to carry then other folks will do so as well. This can lead to perverse results, such as here in Colorado: some of the most vocal, most quoted opponents of repealing the law against concealed carry sans permit were permit holders. They thought being able to get a permit under favorable conditions was a Right instead of the privilege system that it is. They thought government had a place in determining who was fit to carry & who wasn’t, & that was what they considered a Right. Echoes of that could be seen in recent months with gun owners proclaiming “I don’t have a problem with background checks…” which didn’t help our opposition to the recent gun owner control laws here.

    I sympathize with the nature of your legislature. I’m in Colorado & just got a taste of that sort of thing. But the courts are the best place to assert a Right. Legislatures are great for tweaking systems, or adding or subtracting things here & there, but a court based approach is preferable, as they are more apt to restrain a legislature’s power.

    It’s risky to be sure, but right now you have a court decision on your side. As one of the proprietors of this site mentioned, a Right should be the same in Peoria as it is in Chicago, and if diverse locales come up with their own unique methods of imposing upon a person’s Right to carry, then the courts offer a much more thorough rebuke than the legislature does.

    This really is a culture war, & the other side wants to eliminate ours. They are patient & can bide time when things don’t go their way. The more we compromise on the principle of our cause (that owning & carrying is a Right, & as such government has no legitimate say in it) the more fodder our enemies have. So in Illinois I’d advise insisting on a repeal of the prohibition of carry. The legislature likely won’t listen so take the fight to the courts, where you already have a victory. If you lose you lose. If you win you win. But negotiation will bring defeat, not in the next 5 years perhaps, but eventually.

  8. Publicola says:

    I don’t find it that workable. I find it very restrictive. & overly long.

    I’d still advise to stop negotiating with these people, insist on an actual Right to Carry (i.e. no permit required) & if they refuse to agree (which is likely) then stall them or go back to the courts. Fight for a Right, not a privilege.

    • Sebastian says:

      I prefer the term shall-issue, rather than Right-to-Carry, but there is really no reality where Illinois goes from no-issue to Constitutional Carry. If we had taken this attitude since the beginning, there would have been no shall-issue resolution, this issue would have gotten frozen in the early 1990s, and now we’d be looking at being dealt the death blow. The shall-issue wave was a game changer, culturally, even if it wasn’t perfect. Holding out for perfect is not a serious strategy.

  9. Publicola says:

    I disagree (which I know is a shock to ya lol). If “Shall Issue” had been used as a stepping stone then you’d have a valid point, but it’s been used as an end to itself. There’s a difference twixt “holding out for perfect” as you call it, and having perfect as a goal. If they (not “we” as I never advocated this sort of compromise) had been more adamant about having the Right respected instead of just settling for a privilege, then perhaps more than 1% of the states would have Constitutional Carry.

    That extremely tired cliche about the perfect being the enemy of the good is a very convenient excuse for mediocrity. We can bicker about strategy all day long if ya wish, but the real issue is one of principle. There are a lot of folks who want “Shall Issue” & couldn’t care less, or are vehemently opposed, to a no permit system. I keep bringing it up because it’s important that folks remember, but here in Colorado the permitless carry attempts have been fought not just by anti-gunowners, but by people & groups that were pro-“Shall Issue”.

    It’s impossible to say that if they’d have taken a more absolutist approach that we’d not have any gains. & I hate to break it to ya, but in some places gun owners are being dealt a death blow – NJ, NY, Cali, & even Colorado have suffered very bad losses which if not reversed quickly will be the end of the gun culture in those places.

    As for Illinois specifically, there’s a court order on their side. A flawed one (a several month pass on something that’s unconstitutional???) but one that gun owners could have used, & possibly still could use. Whatever you think of the incremental strategy & any alleged progress it can be credited with, I’d point out that now is very different. This is a culture war & the other side is not an adversary that we can chat up & reach a favorable deal with. They want us gone, no matter how pragmatic some of us are. Negotiating with them on anything is a serious strategic error on our part in the long run.

    So Illinois should insist on permitless carry, not try to work out a favorable (to some) permit system. If they lose, they lose, but if they negotiate they cede very vital ground that will be used to their demise.

    There is a reality where Illinois goes to permitless carry. It’s not an easy one, but it does exist. It’ll take the appeasers being ignored, & it’ll be a tough fight, but it can materialize if it’s fought on principle rather than pragmatism based on a semi-defeatist perspective.

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