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Some Forum Views on Home Rule LTC

Looking through some of the forum comments, like the one here.  I don’t honestly think preemption can be negotiated.  Anyone who’s read me for any length of time knows that I understand an incremental approach to progress on the political front, and I’m glad the folks in IL aren’t taking the path some other states did, and opposed a reasonable RTC bill because it wasn’t the perfect bill.  But there’s a difference between a less than perfect bill, and a bad bill, and I think any RTC bill without preemption is a bad bill.  Let me address some of the points brought up in this forum comment:

The idea that supporting a non-preemption law would give room to the gun grabbers in other states is idiotic. That would only be true if the NRA used the language of Barak Obama – you know, what works in Texas wouldn’t work in New York City, blah blah blah

No, it’s not.  When NRA fights for preemption in other states, and argues it’s a bedrock principle, it doesn’t exactly help if they can point to their abandonment of the principle in the State of Illinois.  Considering NRA is currently fighting preemption issues here in Pennsylvania, I prefer them taking a hard line position on it.

The idea that they want to protect their members from a “patchwork” of laws is idiotic. By that logic, they should only support a national carry law and oppose all state LTC laws.

NRA does support National Carry, much to my dismay (I think it’s only possible under the 14th amendment, not the commerce clause).  But that aside, state lines are well delineated and marked, and in our federal system, people are generally aware that the law changes at state borders.  Most people don’t know or think when they cross from one town to another, they could have gone from legally carrying a gun, to committing a crime.  You’re going to be giving people piece of paper called “Illinois License to Carry Firearms.”  Presumably they will also learn that it doesn’t mean it’s valid everywhere.  But there will be gun owners who get stopped by the police, who find themselves saying “Get out of the car officer?  But wait, officer, I thought it was Peoria that banned guns, not Springfield.” or “I’m sorry?  I didn’t realize I had crossed into Urbana.”

The idea that they want to protect their members from a “patchwork” of laws is idiotic for another reason: as it stands now Illinoisans are both deprived of a civil right and prohibited from defending themselves. Is the NRA seriously suggesting that having to figure out a “patchwork” of laws is somehow worse than being defenseless and oppressed?

It’s a tradeoff.  The place in IL people most need to defend themselves is Chicago, and this bill won’t help anyone there.  It comes down to how many people will use their legally aquired guns to defend themselves, versus how many people will get in trouble if they get stopped in the wrong town, or have to use their gun in the wrong town.  Will it be possible at all to carry and remain in compliance with the law if you’re traveling?

Even if everything the NRA was saying made sense, how is it acceptable that they lobbied BEHIND OUR BACKS against an LTC bill supported by this and other organizations????? Todd is on this forum. He knew about the position taken by IllinoisCarry and the ISRA. He has engaged in discussions about the pros and cons of the various bills. So someone (quite possibly Todd) owed us the courtesy of a clear statement on the NRA’s position.

I’m not going to bash NRA for wrestling the gun away from someone who was about to shoot themselves in the foot (from NRA’s point of view).  I would prefer NRA remain neutral on the bill, but I understand why they wanted to kill it initially.  How do you think members are going to feel when people start getting in trouble for getting stopped in the wrong town?  Will an NRA member who loses his job because he has to go to jail for a few months feel good about the law?  Will his family when he has trouble finding a new job because he has a conviction for a gun charge on his criminal record?  Will people feel good about NRA when they don’t have the political power to fix the problem?

This is one thing people in the gun issue need to get: your personal voice is not the collective voice of NRA members, and just because you know other people who agree with you doesn’t make that any more so.  I would not presume to speak for NRA or NRA members.  I have my own point of view on things, and while I’d like to think I have more influence than average over NRA, I don’t expect or demand they adopt all of my opinions as theirs.

I don’t agree with NRA’s support of the parking lot laws, and I think the National Concealed Carry bills proposed by Congress, that they would back, are dangerous.  But that’s my opinion.  I’ve discussed it with people at NRA and they don’t agree with my view.  That’s fine.  In a civic organization, I’m one opinion, and one vote.  I don’t expect them to agree with me on everything, consult me before making decisions on legislative or political matters.  The only thing you can do is make your voice heard, and a lot of people are doing that.  That’s positive.  Members should feel free to air their feelings to board members and staff.   But NRA is a civic organization, meaning you wouldn’t approach it like you would a merchant selling a product.  I get tired of hearing this notion that “NRA isn’t listening to its members.” because it won’t listen to you.  One opinion out of four million.  We’re not always going to get our way, and shouldn’t expect to.  It’s frustrating, but it’s no reason to bash the organization as a whole.

36 Responses to “Some Forum Views on Home Rule LTC”

  1. Melancton Smith says:

    Proposed:

    100% of IL residents can carry in ~97% of the state

    Current:

    100% of IL residents can carry in 0% of the state

  2. thirdpower says:

    Fine. Those ‘bedrock principles’ damn everyone for the next 10-20 years. This isn’t just a ‘one member’ thing. This is hundreds and thousands of members that the NRA is ignoring including the Illinois State Rifle Assoc.

    We are making our voice heard and the public reply has been ‘sit down and be quiet’.

    When/if members start getting in trouble for ‘turning the wrong corner’, then that gives us reason to push litigation and improve the law.

    Chicago has no defense now. Neither does the rest of the state. It’s going to remain that way unless we make them change their policy that’s failed here for the last 15+ years.

  3. Sebastian says:

    It’s not a math problem, but if you want to look at it as a math problem, your top cities in Illinois, that are subject to Home Rule are showing here, at least most of them. There are more.

    Now, not all of them are going to ban carry, but some of them will. Assurances you might have that they won’t aren’t worth anything once the media backlash starts. Then political calculations take over, and assurances are worth nothing.

    About 66% of the population of Illinois lives in the Chicago metropolitan area. In the other major cities, you have another million or so, which is a further 10%, to bring the grand total of 76% of IL that live in cities subject to home rule.

    Just looking at raw numbers, and not considering the patchwork argument, which is powerful, the vast majority of IL won’t benefit from this law, but some of your rural counties will.

    But I don’t think it’s a math problem. There will end up being a patchwork of laws under a bill that has no preemption, and someone is going to have their life ruined because they were in the wrong town. Like I said, I don’t think preemption is something that can be compromised on when it comes to passing concealed carry.

  4. thirdpower says:

    There’s been a patchwork here already for decades. That won’t change. Other related and non-related pre-emption bills have already failed.

    Here’s where you’ll most likely be able to carry in Illinois:

    http://www.pro2aresolution.com/id12.html

    That includes large sections of the Chicago MSA.

    Right now the entire state is red.

    You’ve had CCW for 20 years. You got it passed by allowing exemptions and are working on getting it improved. Now you’re trying to deny that to the people in Illinois who’ve been watching ‘all or nothing’ bills not even make it to the floor since 1993.

  5. Sevesteen says:

    I understand the arguments against a bill without preemption, and I might agree in a different state.

    Illinois requires a super-majority to override home rule. That combined with Chicago politics makes a carry law with preemption impossible for the foreseeable future.

    License holders will be aware of the pitfalls, and the possible penalties, and they can decide if it is worth the risk. I think a bad law will increase support to the point where preemption is possible faster than no law will.

  6. Sebastian says:

    Those resolutions don’t mean that there won’t be communities that will pass restrictions in those counties. I also don’t agree that just because it’s hard to pass the right bill that means it’s better to pass the wrong bill. The fact that you’ll start building a coalition to fix the law will be of little comfort to the people who end in trouble for carrying in the wrong place. I don’t think it’s right to create a hazardous legal situation, and use the people who get screwed by it as pawns to build a coalition to make the law better.

    Honestly, I think it would be better to get a may issue law with preemption than a shall issue law with none.

  7. Sebastian says:

    License holders will be aware of the pitfalls, and the possible penalties, and they can decide if it is worth the risk. I think a bad law will increase support to the point where preemption is possible faster than no law will.

    Not all of them will, and some will forget. If ever city with a population of over 25,000 here could pass their own gun laws, I’d have to keep a list with when I carried, and be exceedingly careful to plan my route. Most guns owners who pay scant attention to the issue might not be aware that the next town over just restricted carry within 1000 feet of schools, until he gets caught. It would be impossible for anyone to know or be able to comply with all the regulations.

    And you can’t be sure that those regulations won’t be passed, even in green counties. Assurances are worth squat if there’s a backlash in the media when you pass concealed carry. If we hadn’t passed it with preemption in Pennsylvania, it would have bill a lot more towns than Philly that would have passed ordinances against it, and a lot of them would have been in otherwise pro-gun counties.

  8. FatWhiteMan says:

    I agree whole-heartedly with your last statement about folks blaming the NRA when they don’t go their way on everything. I can’t think of any large organization that can please every single member all the time. The converse is also true though. Too often when someone does not agree with the NRA, they are labeled as an NRA basher.
    Personally, I like the NRA and most members that I have met. I was not happy at all with their decision to endorse an Anti for President last year. I felt it was an insult to us that they would even try to pawn McCain off as a defender of the 2nd Amendment. I also had to laugh at the long line of poor saps last year at the Annual convention that willfully disarmed to share hall with that buffoon while I walked on by carrying contently.
    In spite of all of that I am a Life Member and have since recruited 8 people. I want so badly for us to reach that 10 million member mark that Ted Nugent called for at the convention last year. The NRA may not listen to one or two members but they will listen to a large percentage. I seriously hope the NRA leadership at least learns from all of the mistakes they have made and sends the RINOs packing as they should with an anti-gun democrat.

  9. Harold says:

    A closer look at Nebraska—very late and I gather reluctant on shall issue—is warranted. They don’t have preemption, as I understand it they have nasty local laws (e.g. from memory an Omaha vet who returned from overseas was denied an ownership permit because he mentioned PTSD treatment as demanded on the form), and their CCW situation is a complete mess that shows that incrementalism is a very bad idea for preemption:

    The legislature started a preemption bill to address the restrictive locality land mine issue but punted when the state Attorney General issued an opinion that the state’s CCW law implied it overrode local laws. Which leaves the state’s residents in a very bad way: this will only be resolved when someone gets arrested and serves as a test case. I wouldn’t want to bet my freedom and future RKBA on whatever the judiciary decides the state’s laws really mean….

  10. Sean Sorrentino says:

    Sebastian’s right. better no bill at all than a bad one. preemption is more important than carry since it is easier to cut of the monster’s head if it only has one head. failing preemption, you get a hydra headed thing that can never be defeated. the rural people in IL need to stand up for the freedoms of those in Chicago the same way northern Americans stood up for the civil rights of southern American blacks.

  11. Arnie says:

    My friend in Seward, Nebraska, where a local ordinance banned ccw was told by the local police there that the police department’s official policy is NOT to enforce the ordinance since the prevaling legal opinion is that they would lose every case at great expense due to the AG’s opinion. The expense factor in this gloomy economy is “pre-empting” most locales from trying to enforce questionable local ordiances. Who would have thought there would be an upside to the recession?
    Also, I agree with your legal assessment on State sovereignty over a national ccw, Sebastian; the 2A applies only against the general (national) government. The 14th is such a an enigma that the courts have trouble applying it with any consistency. And you are right about State borders: they are obvious on every map. States are sovereign; they should not allow towns to pre-empt such a basic, unalienable right as armed self-defense. Such a right is the duty of State government to secure.

  12. RAH says:

    This is an arguement about tactics. Illinois wil need oreemption bedire CCW. Personally i would prefere a shall issue LTC so open and concealed is allowed without hassle.

    There is a split among carry advocates beyween OC and CCW . Sebastian is leary of OC, thinks it will scare people.

    I do not see why we have to jump hoops to get our right to carry recognized. It is part of the 2A. It won’t take 10-20 years because momentum is on our side, despite Obama and his crew of happy gun banners.

    I agree with the need to get premption first. Then go for carry law.

  13. RAH says:

    We are impatient. First lets win the Chicago case. Once that restrictive law is declared unconstitutional and to back up 9th Circuit Ct incorporation that will solidy that interpretation. More district cts will be amenable to 2A defenses. We have had several cases where the storage provision penalties thrown out due to Heller already.

    Step by step.

    Gear up for the new battle to get preemption and then if the if the votes push for statetwide LTC

  14. Thirdpower says:

    It’s already been nearly 20 already of failed attempts. Preemption in Illinois will take another 10-20 years. I’ll put money on that.

    How many of you living in Carry states are willing to not carry because 2 states don’t? Will you willingly disarm until IL, WI, and the ‘may issue’ states get full shall issue?

  15. Sebastian says:

    If I cared about carrying that much, I’d move to a state where I could do it. New Jersey residents are in the same boat you IL people, but seem to be willing to wait for the right law. I would like to be able to carry in NJ too, but if they passed a law without preemption, I wouldn’t carry in NJ, and wouldn’t advise anyone else to either. Same for IL. You might have reciprocity in that bill, but there’s no way in hell I’d carry there.

  16. Brian says:

    How many states allow for local municipalities to ban carry or have any other restrictions stronger than at the state level versus states that have a uniform whole over the entire state?

  17. Sebastian says:

    Nebraska is the only state I know of without explicit preemption, but they shouldn’t need it in Nebraska. There are towns there that are claiming local ordinances, regardless, but those ordinances shouldn’t stand up in court. Philadelphia has a similar problem when the state first preempted them. They claimed home rule when they charged someone under their assault weapons ban. The case went to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the city lost.

  18. thirdpower says:

    Actually no, NJ is not in the same boat as Illinois. Their highly restrictive ‘may issue’ is still less restrictive than IL is right now.

    If IL passed a ‘home rule’ bill, you would have the choice w/ reciprocity to carry or not if you came here.

    We live here and have no choice whatsoever the way things stand now. Except to move. Not an option.

    I do care about carrying. Here. Where my home is. Where my family is. This is where the fight is.

  19. Sebastian says:

    New Jersey is so restrictive that it does not, for all intents and purposes, issue licenses. There are only a few hundred in the state, as far as I know, and most of them are issued to former prosecutors, and the like.

    I wouldn’t say you should move, but I probably would in your situation, if PA lost preemption for carry. I think it’s admirable to stay and fight, but I think you should fight for the right bill, and I don’t think this one is it.

  20. thirdpower says:

    This is where the cultural difference shows.

    “if PA lost preemption for carry.”

    You’ve had it for 20 years. We haven’t even gotten a bill off the floor in over 15. The ‘right’ bills have been failing for as long as you’ve had CCW in your state and will continue to fail for the foreseeable future.

    We need a ‘better-than-nothing and still pretty good’ bill that can pass before my kids are old enough to vote.

    Even if only one non-authority individual in NJ has a permit, that’s still more than IL.

  21. Sebastian says:

    Sorry, I just don’t see how a bill that stands a very good chance of landing good people in jail as “still pretty good”

  22. Melancton Smith says:

    Currently IL has a ‘patchwork’ of firearms transportation laws.

    State law says you can transport a firearm if:
    – It is unloaded and enclosed in a case OR
    – it is broken down in a non-functional state OR
    – it is inaccessible

    Note the ORs are interpreted by some LEO’s as ANDs.

    However, we have no preemption and some municipalities have different transportation laws.

    The Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) has been trying for years to pass a law preempting firearms transportation laws and they won’t even budge on this.

    Do you think they’ll allow a preemptive RTC law? It is laughable.

    Meanwhile, there are over 2 murders per day and over 11 forcible rapes per day.

  23. thirdpower says:

    It is still ‘pretty good’ because it is an exponential improvement over ‘nothing’.

    Like M. Smith stated, not only the ISRA but the NRA has been trying to get preemption on transportation requirements for years and it continues to fail. RTC? Not going to happen.

    Why should the rest of the state continue to be punished because of Chicago?

  24. Laughingdog says:

    I worked in Seattle for about 6 months back in 1999. In Washington, cities can create extra driving laws, and don’t have to post it anywhere. As a result, it’s effectively illegal statewide to make a u-turn, because enough cities in the state outlawed them that few people can keep track of where they are allowed and where they are not.

    After experiencing that, my opinion on whether preemption is a good or bad thing was established pretty firmly in the “good thing” category.

  25. Melancton Smith says:

    Yes, preemption is a “good thing.” An even “better thing” is to be able to carry a firearm for self-defense without risking a felony and permanent ban on firearm ownership.

    By the way, since this was originally posted, 22 women have been raped in Illinois.

  26. thirdpower says:

    Preemption is a great thing, I agree on that. Yet when you’ve been trying to get it for nearly 20 years, a new plan is in order.

    In every state, there are areas where you cannot carry. Gov’t buildings, businesses that serve alcohol, etc. Each has different laws and different requirements that were added to get the laws passed.

    Good people have lost their CCW and been punished for violating those laws unintentionally.

    Should those shall issue laws be opposed then?

  27. Sebastian says:

    That’s a different case, Thirdpower. A reasonable person can keep track of a half a dozen to a dozen places that you can’t carry in. A lot of them tend to be more common sense, like bars and schools. No one could keep track of a patchwork of laws. You’d need a reference guide just to be able to carry a firearm, without running afoul of the law.

    My understanding is transportation preemption is something that might be achievable more in the short run. At least Vandermyde seems to be optimistic about its chances.

  28. thirdpower says:

    “You’d need a reference guide just to be able to carry a firearm, without running afoul of the law.”

    Welcome to Illinois as it has been for decades.

    If you note the bill, a ‘reference guide’ is mandated in the bill.

  29. MichaelG says:

    Thx Sebastian you’ve clarified my mind on this quite well. I now support the ISRA’s position and once again find the current leadership of the NRA failing their membership.

    I look at it this way – my inalienable rights do not change as I cross imaginary political borders. Therefore, if IL has decided to reduce its infringment on my right to self defense in some places, then an arrest in another place becomes a constitutional test.

    A state version of Heller if you will. Oh, wait, the NRA originally fought against that one as well didn’t they?

  30. Sebastian says:

    NRA fought against it for fear it would lose, and I would note it only won by one vote.

    I agree that your rights don’t change at a state border, which is why I think the whole idea of licenses is silly to begin with, but if you’re going to issue people piece of paper that say “Illinois License to Carry Firearms” on it, then you owe it to gun owners to preempt local communities from regulating that, so that the law is uniform throughout the state. If people need a reference guide to carry, it’s, for all practical purposes, not being treated as a right.

  31. michael says:

    Keep in mind Heller prevailed by one vote. Alito and Roberts weren’t on the Court when the case was filed in 2002 or 2003. Given Justice O’Connor’s other decisions, there is a better than fair chance Heller would have lost if she had still been on the Supreme Court.

  32. NebraskaSentinel says:

    Nebraska has statewide premption for Concealed Handgun Permitholders, plus Reciprocity, Carry in Churches for designated personnel, and more most likely to pass in the next several weeks. It has already made it through two rounds of debate and “adjustments”. Final reading and vote coming…

    See www dot unicam dot state dot ne dot us and look up LB 430 in “current bills”.

    It is a bit of a hassle having to know the laws of the various towns one will be passing through so that one does not commit a “gun crime”. The upside of Nebraska is that Open Carry is legal (although it has been known to attract attention).

  33. Melancton Smith says:

    So does Nebraska have preemption or not? Last comment seems contradictory.

    So you guys have to track which towns ban and which don’t? Sounds like a lot of work. I guess none of you guys bother carrying then, eh?

  34. Sebastian says:

    It’s the legal opinion of the Attorney General of Nebraska that their concealed carry law preempts local regulation. You can find that here.

    The real problem you guys have in IL is that super majority requirement, which apparently the speaker of the IL house can invoke pretty much at his/her pleasure. In most states with home rule, state law, passed on a simple majority, will always override local laws, as appears to be the case in Nebraska. My understanding is that the Speaker of the IL house takes the position that any law requiring state wide issuance of licenses, even without preemption for the act of carrying, requires a super majority.

  35. NebraskaSentinel says:

    Today, Nebraska does not have premption codified into state statute. The anticipated passage of LB430 this year will create state law premption of laws regulating the carrying of concealed handguns.

    The point made by others when citing Nebraska is that we passed what we could pass given the political environment at the time and are working to improve what we have.

    Such may not be the reality in Illionois.

    And to answer a question posted: I conceal carry everywhere it is legal in the State of Nebraska. Which for me is 99% of the places I personally go.

  36. Josh A. says:

    I live in MN, and feel blessed to have a shall issue permit that covers open and concealed carry, with almost no restrictions. I almost feel bad that others don’t have the same access to their rights that I do.

    Just got a ISRA membership and sent some $$ to their Political Victory Fund – I hope that gun owners who have it good will consider doing the same. We need to play by NATO rules.

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