by John Boch
With four days to go in this year’s spring session in the Illinois General Assembly, lawmakers are under intense pressure to pass a carry bill ahead of the June 9th date when Illinois’ prohibition on carrying guns outside the home becomes unconstitutional.
Speaker Madigan’s carry bill, introduced by Brandon Phelps in the form of SB-2193, passed the Illinois House by a historic 85 votes last week and it’s headed to the Senate for a vote, where it needs 36 votes to pass with the super-majority required to over-rule home-rule authority.
That same 36 votes will also over-ride an anticipated Governor’s veto.
Guns Save Life is supporting SB-2193. We don’t like it, not by a long shot, but we are supporting it vigorously and we’ll tell you why…
We don’t have the votes to “go over the cliff” on June 9th intentionally, nor do we have the votes to pass a strong shall-issue bill that we would like to have had in HB-997. Period.
Also, making lemonade out of the lemons being offered us, the bill strikes down all local ordinances regarding guns. It also will get people carrying by next year with only a few onerous hoops to jump through. But again, the big carrot for gun owners in IL, especially those in Chicagoland, is the across the board pre-emption on local gun regulation.
Chicago’s gun registration regime? Gone.
Chicago’s ban on mags, lasers, etc.? Buh bye.
Cook County’s black gun ban? History.
Local “safe storage” ordinances? Into the dustbin of history.
Wrap your mind around it: We’re striking down gun bans, gun registration and a host of onerous gun laws in post-Sandy Hook America, in one of the bluest of blue states. Folks, this is almost unheard of and it’s potentially a huge victory for us in incrementally winning back our rights.
Want to castigate us for backing 2193?
Fine. But we’re at where we are at because a number of downstate Democrats and even a number of the senior Republican leadership have gone soft on us. The Sandy Hook parents coming in and pouring their hearts out was emotional and inflamed the issue, creating a sense of “we must do something” among the legislators.
We’re also here because of 99.9% of Illinois gun owners haven’t been contacting their legislators with regularity. Is that you? If so, you can redeem yourself by calling TODAY and telling your state senator and representative to vote “NO” on any mag bans or gun ban bills that may come up in the next few days.
The bottom line is we’re left with a choice between supporting Maigan’s 2193 bill and getting a bill written by Kwame Raoul, a low-information legislator who doesn’t know the difference between a stock and a rifle. How smart is Kwame? Well, let’s just say we wouldn’t be surprised he joined Hank Johnson in opining that Guam will tip over if we land more Marines there. Kwame’s bill would be about as useful as no carry at all.
There’s a ton of palace intrigue going on that I’m not writing about as this is Memorial Day and I’ve got a lot of stuff to do, but suffice it to say that Senate President Cullerton has said he’s “violently opposed” to the bill, the anti-gun groups are wetting their britches, as is Governor Patrick “Clueless” Quinn.
We have it on good authority that Cullerton tried to cut a deal with Madigan late last week, stripping out the pre-emption language as well as seeking to change the bill to a “may issue” for either Cook County or the entire state.
Madigan not only told him “no” on negotiating changes, he told Cullerton that he was going to pass 2193 bill through the senate “as is”, period.
Cullerton stormed out of the meeting a very unhappy camper, but when you’re going up against the guy who has been Speaker of the House for decades and rules with a pragmatic iron fist, it’s difficult to thwart the Speaker’s will. Defying Madigan can be very “painful” for those who elect to do so. In fact, speaking of elections, those who don’t follow Madigan’s wishes without a “pass” from him might face a difficult time at the next election.
Where are we at now?
Cullerton is attempting to try this in the court of public opinion, but there aren’t very many die-hard anti-gunners who aren’t:
- Paid shills
- Associated with the dying mainstream media
- Parents of gang-bangers and criminal thugs who got shot down “in the prime of their lives just as they were turning their lives around”
- Well-meaning do-gooders with a limited attention span
- Low-information types
What Cullerton is selectively not mentioning is that a blanket prohibition on any form of carry outside the home has been ruled unconstitutional. And while it’s just the Illinois Attorney General who has been slapped down on the State of Illinois’ Unlawful Use of Weapons prohibition, don’t doubt for a second that the decision doesn’t apply to Mayberry, IL’s local prohibition as well. It’s simply wishful thinking to think that a county prosecutor would be able to successfully prosecute a law-abiding FOID card holder carrying a gun because of a local ordinance prohibiting carry or possession of guns outside the home.
So, why isn’t Guns Save Life, the Illinois State Rifle Association and the National Rifle Association supportive of getting Constitutional Carry after June 9th?
We can’t speak for ISRA and NRA, but at GSL, we’re less than thrilled with the June 9th “cliff” as it is NOT Constitutional Carry. At best, it’s UNREGULATED Carry, meaning you may run afoul of local ordinances and get yourself arrested based upon those.
Sure, some of those ordinances banning public carry of weapons will not stand under the Seventh Circuit decision, that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to be arrested, get strip searched as part of going to jail, having your FOID card revoked until the matter is cleared up, having your guns confiscated, and requiring you to pay big bucks to defend yourself in court.
Does that sound like Constitutional Carry? You’re right. It’s not.
What do we think is going to happen?
Best guess is that Madigan’s bill will pass the Illinois Senate with minimal changes, if any. From there, it will go to Governor Quinn’s desk, where he’ll sit on it for nearly all of the sixty days he’s got to sign or veto a bill, whereupon he’ll veto it.
Then the legislature will take up an over-ride during the veto session this fall.
In the meantime, “unregulated carry” will be the law of the land after June 9th until a) Quinn’s veto is over-ridden, or b) Quinn signs the bill or c) the court steps in with some other resolution.
There you have it.
The latest is that Senate President Cullerton had a caucus meeting last night in the Senate for two hours over the carry issue. The caucus devolved into a shouting match between Cullerton loyalists and the other Democrat senators (including downstate senators).
In the end, Cullerton has elected not to call SB-2193 for a vote in an effort to force another House vote on Kwame’s bill, which has been tweaked with a new amendment for HB-183.
We’ll see later today if Cullerton can muster the votes to pass a bill that is doomed in the House, in an effort to pass this hot potato back to the House in order to embarrass House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Only a fool would not put their money on Madigan to emerge victorious in this urinating match.
Call your Senator today and urge him to vote NO on the Kwame Amendment to HB-183 and yes to SB-2193.
Also, tell them “NO” to magazine bans.
Late-breaking: 2193 is being considered in the Senate Exec Committee right now.