GSL President John Boch.

by John Boch

President, Guns Save Life

After weeks of watching Illinois Democrat House Speaker Michael Madigan play the political games he’s famous for, we are no closer to a good carry bill today than we were on the first day of this session of the General Assembly.

Yes, we’ve fought tooth and nail to push back against highly-restrictive carry bills, the most “reasonable” of which was a leftists’ dream “may-issue” carry bill which in effect is a Jim Crow law to keep two-thirds of law-abiding African-Americans in Illinois segregated from their right to have a gun outside of their Cook County homes. This and other similar bills in both the House and Senate would also leave Illinois gun owners to navigate a mish-mash of local ordinances, leaving many to conclude the risk of inadvertent arrest is just too great.

We lost on our “shall issue” carry proposal by seven votes, as a number of Chicago Democrats negotiated more restrictive changes to our initial “shall issue” bill. In the end, these Windy City Democrats didn’t deliver on their end of the bargain, instead voting “present” or not voting at all despite their negotiated pledges to vote “yes”. Thanks guys.

As you might imagine, that vote left us disappointed and cynical, as though there’s not enough reasons to be cynical about politics in the Land of Lincoln.

There’s been plenty of other machinations by gun-grabbing leftists. The good news is we’ve proven time and time again we have the votes to stop bad bills. The bad news is some squishy legislators are defecting, notably couple who aspire to higher state-wide office.

So, what’s going to happen next?

Your calls are tipping the scales our way as the other side tries to saddle us with bad “may issue” bills, so stay frosty and keep calling. Be ready to redouble your efforts to pound the phones if we send out an alert.

We will get carry in Illinois. “How soon” is the million dollar question.

How good the final product looks will be directly proportional to the amount of effort you put into this between now and June 9th, in particular.

If it does happen on June 9th because of a failure to come up with a legislative remedy, be cautious about strapping on your personal defense tool.

My recommendations, like those of most other trainers, would be to conceal your firearm carefully, ensuring it won’t become exposed or visible to others.

Don’t talk about it with people outside of your closest family and friends, and caution them against making comments about it in public.

Use common sense about where you carry. Don’t carry in bars, cop shops, courthouses, airports, casinos or stadiums, to name a few places.

Realize that a police officer might choose to arrest you for exercising your rights and that you will have to litigate later in a court of law.

The good news is we, as gun owners, have been under similar threats for over a decade with fanny pack carry and the arrests were few and far between and not once resulted in a conviction.

A healthy dose of common sense will go a long way towards safely exercising your right to carry in Illinois, both now and after some sort of carry system is implemented.

Be careful and stay safe, regardless if you choose to carry or not..


5 thoughts on “LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: What’s going on in Springfield?”
  1. I would cordially invite the author to do a piece on the Doctrine if Selective Incorporation – with special focus on how it pertains to local units of government. A good explanation about how Incorporation doesn’t apply to local government is in order – check Lisa’s failed amici for reference ;)- Secondarily, a bit of discussion about SCOTUS precedent regarding open and concealed carry is warranted as well in terms if friendly advice offered.

    Standing precedent is that it’s permissible to BAN concealed carry when open carry is indeed lawful. Fair enough – after June 9 (if the 7th lifts stay) there would be no statute banning concealed carry AND it’s fully true that concealed is operating on the down low BUT one should consider concealing dutifully. That attempt to be discrete may well backfire badly. Legally speaking.

    I would point out that I’ve advocated talking about OPEN CARRY and the DANGER of allowing this conversation to be limited to or even branded “concealed carry”. Where this author says thanks guys in jest – I say it seriously. I’m HAPPY 997 failed. As happy as I was when 148 failed last year. We’ve been abused a very long time. It’s time to END the abuse and that doesn’t happen through a DEAL where needless concessions are made. It ENDS when We The People REFUSE to be abused entirely.

  2. I agree with ashrak. I will and would have accepted the original HB997 but HB997 was the compromise. The original bill had the cost of a permit under $50, I think and I would allow that number to go up if there were concessions on other things from the other side like long guns.
    Right now I fear that we are negoiating way to far in order to get pre-emption. I would agree to a permiting system that would allow a permit to be good statewide including Chicago and leave Chicago to set up whatever system they want as long as Chicago residents could get the required training and the permit outside of their home county. Why should I spend the time and money to get a permit and then have watch my map to see where the Cook County border is?

  3. I’m almost more concerned with the proposed magazine ban than concealed carry at this point.

  4. I left the state of Illinois a couple of years ago for two reasons, gun control insanity and insane tax policies. I completely understand the desire to live in a place where you have roots, but I cannot for the life of me understand why good hardworking honest folks will put up with corrupt political tyrants for decades on end. I don’t say this as a put down, I seriously don’t understand it. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has voted with my feet, but just in case you’ve thought of that option, there are MANY great places to live where your constitutional rights are a given!
    I pray for like minded citizens whom I left behind in Illinois, but you do have options.

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