With less than 18 hours’ notice, the Champaign, Illinois city council passed an emergency powers ordinance Friday morning, which Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen signed. The ordinance grants sweeping powers to the mayor, including the ability to order a ban on selling, transferring, or even giving away firearms or ammunition.
Some would-be authoritarians at the home of the University of Illinois think they can suspend citizens’, students’, and visitors’ Second Amendment rights on the whim of a small town mayor during a national emergency.
But wait, there’s much, much more.
The measure gives the mayor the power to:
- Order the closure of all liquor stores, taverns and private clubs. Or portions thereof where alcohol is consumed.
- Ban all alcohol sales by any wholesaler or retailer.
- Ban the sale of fuels except to fill motor vehicles. Need gas for your generator? Sorry.
- “Order the control, restriction and regulation within the City by rationing, issuing quotas, fixing or freezing prices, allocating the use, sale or distribution of food, fuel, clothing and other commodities, materials, goods or services or the necessities of life”
Because price controls and rationing have worked so well in places like Venezuela. (See also: Venezuela: This Is What Happens to A Disarmed Populace.) The
- Order City employees or agents, on behalf of the City, to take possession of any real or personal property of any person, or to acquire full title or such lesser interest as may be necessary to deal with a disaster or emergency, and to take possession of and for a limited time, occupy and use any real estate to accomplish alleviation of the disaster, or the effects thereof;
The mayor and city council seem to be unfamiliar with inconvenient aspects of the Constitution such as the Third and Fourth Amendments.
Yes, this ordinance grants powers right out of a dictator’s playbook. To some nobody mayor of a small town in America. Yeah, like that’s going to fly.
The list of new powers goes on. And on. You can read the entire document here (see Exhibit A).
Additional listings include the ability to “control, restrict, allocate, or regulate the use, sale, production, or distribution of food, water, fuel, clothing, and/or other commodities, materials, goods, services and resources.” Yes, seizing products for redistribution. Does that sound familiar?
Can you say “CUBA”?
Another: “Suspend or limit burning of any items or property with the City limits and up to two (2) miles outside the corporate limits.” You want to tell me I can’t fire up a cigar in my back yard? Or my firepit? Especially within two miles outside of the city limits? Go self-procreate, Mayor Lil Debbie Feinen. With a cactus.
Yet another: Require the continuation, termination, disconnection, or suspension of natural gas, electrical power, water, sewer, communication or other public utilities or infrastructure.
Yep, she wants the ability to shut off your utilities. What a nice woman.
One glaring business class that the mayor can’t arbitrarily shut down or seized: marijuana dispensaries. Pot smokers rejoice.
Meanwhile, to enforce the new ordinance, Champaign’s mayor has her own little army in the form of about 135 police officers. How many of those officers would enforce mayoral “emergency decrees” running directly afoul of the US Constitution remains unknown.
In a former job years ago, I used to work with a number of Champaign city police officers. There were some outstanding people on that department, but many of the ones I knew have likely retired by now.
Unless there has been a wholesale change in attitudes on the department, I suspect the majority of Champaign cops will uphold their oaths and refuse to enforce any edicts suspending the Second Amendment for law-abiding residents trying to defend themselves during a national emergency.
When push comes to shove, I suspect Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen will have to (illegally) pick up one of the Champaign PD’s rifles and enforce her own decrees if she wants to see them stand.
Plenty of us would pay good money to see that happen. No doubt plenty of local gun owners would tell her to pound sand.
Will the Champaign City Council reverse themselves on this measure if they feel enough heat about the move? Time will tell. Lord knows they are getting pushback aplenty. News of the ordinance has garnered national publicity.
The Second Amendment exists to stop petty tyrants from abusing and oppressing our fellow Americans. If the government won’t live by the rule of law, America’s gun owners will help government get with the program. Or else remove them from power.