Here’s a screen capture of the coverage of the House deliberations on HB997. Red dots are “no”. Yellow are “present” (or “Obama” votes as some call them). Then there are those not voting.


Rich Miller’s column in the Sun-Times, which he reprinted at Capitol Fax, tells his analysis of what happened last week with the failure of “shall issue” to reach the magic 71 votes needed for passage.

It’s not far off, from what I can tell.

It wasn’t a major defeat for the NRA, but merely a minor temporary setback.

We still have the Moore v. Madigan decision in our back pocket along with the June 9th deadline for Illinois to act to correct an unconstitutional Unlawful Use of Weapons statute.

Here are some highlights from Miller’s column and some commentary from John Boch, GSL’s president:

(Capitol Fax) – During the Illinois House’s floor debate last week over the concealed-carry bill backed by the National Rifle Association, I was told by an intimate of House Speaker Michael Madigan that Madigan wanted to make sure the bill received no more than 64 votes.

Because the bill pre-empts local government home-rule powers, the bill required a three-fifths majority of 71 votes to pass.

The anti-gun forces were demoralized the day before when their highly restrictive concealed-carry proposal got just 31 votes, so Madigan (D-Chicago) wanted to do the same to the NRA’s version, I was told.

The idea, the source said, was to show both sides that they couldn’t pass their bills on their own and needed to get themselves to the bargaining table and work something out.

That’s interesting, as the good guys have been at the negotiating table a LOT, offering a lot more than we feel the Moore decision required us to in an effort to be “reasonable”.  Our negotiating hasn’t been without plenty of criticism in many quarters (our own Ashrak’s frequent commentary as an example).  There are a LOT of gun owners who feel Constitutional Carry would suit Illinois well, and are pretty upset with us for working on a “reasonable” carry bill that can pass Illinois’ General Assembly.

Frankly, we like the idea of Constitutional Carry, but recognize reality in Illinois politics make that about as likely as intelligent life on Mars.

…The NRA bill ended up getting 64 votes, exactly Madigan’s reported target number.

…Madigan’s staff worked the bill hard, pulling off votes for their boss. Gov. Pat Quinn, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s people also worked against the NRA bill.

Pro-gun forces began the day believing that they had more than enough votes to pass it, and they were furious when the tide began to turn against them. But there was nothing they could do as they watched one promised vote after another flip on them.

That is SPOT ON.  There were about eight or more votes that were promised after the latest round of negotiations which culminated in Amendment 9 of HB-997.  In the end, we surrendered a bunch of ground and what did we get for it?  Not a single vote.

Can you say the gun grabbers were “negotiating in bad faith?”

We surely can.

On the other side of the Statehouse, Sens. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and Tim Bivins (R-Dixon) said they were close to wrapping up negotiations over a concealed-carry law. Raoul said the tentative proposal would be unveiled within days. It contains what will undoubtedly be a controversial “endorsement” clause.

If approved, anyone who is awarded a concealed-carry permit by Illinois State Police could carry anywhere in Illinois except Cook County and Chicago. If they want to carry in those areas, they would have to apply for an “endorsement” from local law enforcement. An appeals process was being added to the bill for those who are denied an endorsement, Raoul said,

The NRA’s top lobbyist responded that he would attempt to kill such a bill, but Bivins, who was Lee County’s sheriff for 20 years, didn’t seem very concerned that the final proposal might not be viewed favorably by the NRA.

You can add Guns Save Life to that.  We oppose denying blacks in Chicago their civil rights simply because they have the misfortune of living in the murder capital of America.

We won’t leave black and law-abiding residents of Chicago behind just so we can have carry outside of Cook County.  Otis McDonald was there for us.  We’re not leaving him or anyone else behind.

Besides, imagine the hue and cry if women or blacks didn’t have the right to vote in Cook County?  Or needed a special “endorsement” to do so?  How about other Constitutional rights?

But the pro-gun forces complain that they’ve been negotiating with themselves. They’ve repeatedly compromised, only to see the goalposts moved farther away.

Ain’t that the truth!

8 thoughts on “Rich Miller: How last weeks “Shall Issue” defeat went down”
  1. Like the headline says in the newest issue of GunNews, “Tick Tock”. We need to quit negotiating, kill the bad bill, and let them sweat the June 9 deadline.

    1. Yes indeed . Let us not go back to the negotiating table. We gave the Chicago clowns a chance. Now let them sit at the table by themselves until the countdown runs down and we do indeed have constitutional carry. We will do concealed carry at first then soon after we’ll do open carry.NO NEGOTIATING PERIOD FROM THIS TIMEFORWARD.

  2. I have said all along, for years and years, the Negotiating RIghts Away is the wrong path. It is UNreeasonable. This is true. In part, because there isn’t a good faith partner to negotiate with. But also true is the sentiment that NOBODY should be left behind. The INSTANT rights are subject to qualifications, preconditions, fees and permission slips people ARE left behind. It’s the poor hit by fees and training costs. . Maybe you guys with 50 guns think a few hundred bucks is a low price to pay but to others that’s the rent or grocery money. And what about the homeless??

    It is not “reasonable” to assault the meaning of the word RIGHTS.
    We have endured the stripping away of the right to bear in Illinois for decades and decades. Who will claim that was “reasonable”? It’s true that money doesn’t fix this violation but ending the prohibition once and for all does

    I rain steadfastly dedicated to restoring RIGHTS in this state and that means NO permission slips! To those bent on this idea, I say this – turn the focus on carrying a qualifying document on the ACTUAL Criminals and make THEM beat the burden of their crimes themselves. Make THEM pay the fees to fund the program. Make them endure the constant harassing and sacrificing of rights as a product of their CRIMES. Leave the rest of us alone to exercise or rights freely in peace.

    Remember. Constitutional carry is just like Constitutional speech or constitutional prayer or constitutional press. Rights require no permission from government. They belong to us, each of us individually, to exercise in spite of politicians desire to “allow” and “disallow” at their discretion.

  3. The increased fees are just a way to keep guns out of the hands of poor blacks. The gangs will have guns no matter what. The ones hurt by the fees aren’t us “downstaters”, it’s the people who live in Englewood, Garfield Park, Pullman, Riverdale, Harvey, Calumet City, Chicago Heights, Ford Heights, etc. who are largely low income minorities who will have trouble coming up with the fees and finding places to go take training.

    Constitutional carry levels the playing field. Pretty much everyone can affod the $5 for a FOID card.

  4. Speaker of the House Madigan is the poster boy for term limits. Through him, the Chicago machine has held downstate hostage for over four decades.
    Their definition of compromise is, “come to our way of thinking.”
    They don’t negotiate, they demand.
    Just think, if Illinois hadn’t wanted a port on Lake Michigan, Chicago would have been in Wisconsin as Illinois’ north border
    was then moved north to provide the port.

  5. No more “negotiations”, no more compromise. Pass the original 997, or Chicago can go….pound sand.

  6. How about an article about Sams bill?

    Or is there a media blackout dwarfing the Gosnell trial coverage?

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