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!