They didn’t listen.
Yesterday, after Guns Save Life president John Boch addressed the Champaign County Housing Authority (CCHA) board of commissioners (which, by the way, look nothing like a cross-section of the community) and expressed profound concerns with CCHA trampling of Housing Authority residents’ rights in their new firearms policy, they voted unanimously to enact the proposal.
The resolution can be found here. It begins on about page 34 of the pdf.
Former Urbana Police Chief Eddie Adair was one of the commissioners. We would have thought he, in particular, would have known better, but then again he has a history on guns.
Specifically, many years ago when fanny pack carry hit the news in Illinois (fanny pack carry is where unloaded guns may be transported in a case, on your person, in public), then-chief Adair advocated to his command staff that should the department’s officers encounter someone transporting a gun in a fanny pack, that they should write a report and seize the gun and fanny pack for “evidenciary reasons”. His logic was that should a gun owner lose a gun or two for a couple of years while the State’s Attorney’s office mulled charges, that would dissuade them from exercising their rights. Of course, the command staff had other thoughts. One told me, “We all said, ‘I’m not getting sued for seizing a fanny pack!’.”
Well, getting back to the Housing Authority: Their ears will be burning shortly as they get a cease and desist letter from the NRA’s Litigation Counsel in the coming days, warning them officially what GSL’s president told them in a more informal setting during public comments yesterday.
Failing that, it’ll be time to visit the courthouse.
It won’t be pretty, but sometimes you’ve got to fix stupid.
But then again, it’s not “their” money that they will be spending in a futile attempt to defend a patently unconstitutional regulatory action on their part.
Here’s an excerpt of the story as published in the News-Gazette:
CHAMPAIGN — Champaign County public housing commissioners on Thursday approved of a new weapons policy allowing guns on housing authority property, but the president of Champaign-based Guns Save Life argued that the rules still contain unconstitutional restrictions.
Housing officials were encouraged months ago to pass a new gun policy for residents of public housing after its insurance provider informed the agency that its past prohibition on guns was a violation of its residents’ Second Amendment rights.
On Thursday, they passed a new firearms policy which preserves some restrictions on how guns can be used and stored by public housing residents. Guns Save Life President John Boch questioned some of those regulations and said the National Rifle Association is watching with interest.
“If you feel that I am wrong, my question to you is, what did you budget this year for litigation expenses?” Boch told the board.
The policy requires that gun owners in public housing inform the housing authority when they possess a gun, including providing details about the weapon. It also requires that residents keep their weapons in a locked gun case, rack or box.
Those are the two primary concerns Boch had with the policy.
Housing authority attorney Eric Hanson said he believes the agency is on sound footing with its new policy allowing guns.
“The resolution, I believe, is correct,” Hanson said. “I believe it’s constitutional.”
Mr. Hanson, the local housing authority’s attorney, is paid not to “believe” things are true and correct, but to ensure they are in fact correct. Shame on him for such sloppy legal research on this issue.
That’s okay. We’ll take him to school.
Sadly, it’ll be at taxpayers’ expense.