By CHRISTOPHER WILLS Associated PressSPRINGFIELD, Ill. August 23, 2012 (AP)
Despite a statewide ban on concealed weapons, gun owners in one central Illinois county don’t need to worry about facing charges because its top prosecutor is refusing to enforce a law he considers unconstitutional.
Illinois is the only state that still bans residents from carrying concealed guns. McLean County State’s Attorney Ronald Dozier calls the law antiquated and said Wednesday that he hopes his policy against prosecuting harmless violations will send a message.
“I felt like I just wanted to make a statement to the Legislature,” said Dozier, a retired judge who was appointed state’s attorney in December and plans to step down in October.
And legal experts say he’s completely within his rights.
…Dozier believes many state’s attorneys have privately decided not to pursue charges against people who violate some of Illinois’ gun laws, such as failing to properly store a gun or allowing their state-issued Firearm Owners Identification Card to expire.But he said he decided to tell the public about his policy — and make clear that it extends to violations of the law against carrying a concealed weapon — to encourage changes in state law.
The governor isn’t pleased and suggested that Dozier abide by his oath of office.
“You have a duty to respect the law,” Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, said Wednesday. “If you don’t agree with the law, we have procedures where you can challenge the law properly.”
Regular readers of our GunsSaveLife.com website saw all of this Monday is a post on the issue. Now hundreds of thousands of folks are reading about this on the AP wire service today.
Yesterday, we detailed some of the pushback Dozier has received from the Sheriff, who has repeatedly claimed he supports right to carry and from the Dozier’s likely successor who is running unopposed in the November election.
Ron Dozier’s office has received a dozen or so phone calls on the issue, in large part thanks to a tweet from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. (No, we’re not linking to those folks.)
We called this morning to lend our voice in support of Dozier’s position and the very kind and pleasant administrative assistant said her phone has been ringing a lot of late. We told her about the tweet from CSGV and she said “so that’s why!”
So, if you would like to call and offer your support in a short call, go for it. 309 888-5400.
Perhaps more important is for Illinois gun owners to talk with their local sheriffs and urge the sheriffs to come on board in recognizing the same civil rights that 49 other states recognize.
If we can start getting some sheriffs on board, this will exponentially increase the already significant pressure on the governor and the legislature to join 49 other states and recognize Illinois residents’ Heller and McDonald-recognized rights.
Folks, gun owners – even in Illinois – are riding a tidal wave of momentum recovering our rights that have been systematically and incrementally taken away in past decades. The gun haters are beside themselves, freaking out at every turn.
They think the light at the end of the tunnel is the possibility of passing a magazine ban or a semi-auto ban either nationally under anti-gun Barack Obama or under the fierce gun hater Governor Pat “Inept” Quinn here in Illinois.
Bless their hearts. They are living in a wonderland.
In reality, that light at the end of the tunnel? It is our locomotive about to run them over.