Illinois Governor J.B. “Judgement: Bad” Pritzer issued an Executive Order last week requiring people in public to wear a mask effective May 1st. Pritzker’s latest order is just the latest example of him using bad judgement.
May 1, 2020, Executive Order
“Wearing a face covering in public places or when working. Any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering (a mask or cloth face- covering) shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain a six-foot social distance. Face-coverings are required in public indoor spaces such as stores.”
Pritzker has shown plenty of bad judgement since the Coronavirus has taken over everyone’s consciousness.
Ol’ J.B. spent $1.7 million of taxpayer monies to send a pair of FedEx cargo jets to China on a secret mission to bring back medical masks and other protective equipment. Secret because Mr. Pritzker didn’t want the Trump Administration to seize the gear. But in reality, the gear included millions of DEFECTIVE Chinese knockoffs of N95 masks called KN95s.
If “Judgement: Bad” Pritzker had only communicated with the Trump Administration, he would have found just how defective KN95 masks really are and saved Illinois taxpayers close to $20M.
And now, Pritzker’s new order requiring masks in public poses a real risk for good guy gun owners and here’s why: For concealed carry license holders, and law-abiding gun owners in general, wearing a mask while in possession of a firearm puts them in a dangerous territory under Illinois law.
Sec. 24-1. Unlawful use of weapons.
(a) A person commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons when he knowingly:
(9) Carries or possesses in a vehicle or on or about his or her person any pistol, revolver, stun gun or taser or firearm or ballistic knife, when he or she is hooded, robed or masked in such manner as to conceal his or her identity;
Violation of Section 24-1(a)(9) is a Class 4 felony in the Land of Lincoln. A felony conviction debars an individual from owning or possessing a firearm. For life.
Looking at this practically, it seems that the Reasonable Person Doctrine would suggest that someone seeking to comply with the governor’s order by wearing a medical mask during this pandemic would have no intent “to conceal his or her identity.”
Sadly, though, sometimes a “reasonable” interpretation can prove as elusive as “common sense” when it comes to government agents with an agenda.
Regrettably, not every police officer and prosecutor in Illinois shares our views on the proven benefits of good guys with guns at home, much less carrying in public. Someone like Cook County’s State’s Attorney Kim Foxx might well use the “mask” statute to pursue a prosecution against a card-carrying good guy (or gal) gun owner to the ends of the earth. Because Kim Foxx has plenty of spare time given her tendency to give career criminals and wife beaters a free pass.
Clearly, the Governor and his advisors are supposed to be the wizards of smart when it comes to the rule of law and his job as chief executive. It’s a shame the Governor failed to contemplate this potential risk to gun owners.
In fact, skeptical people might say the Governor has no problem creating a bear trap with which to expose concealed carry holders to legal jeopardy. “Let no crisis go to waste,” some of his political pals are famous to saying.
You might say, “I don’t have a carry license, so I don’t have a dog in this fight.”
If you’re a gun owner, you have a dog in this. People carrying at their fixed places of business for security, or on their own private property for the same reasons might also find themselves at risk by wearing a mask while possessing a firearm.
So, the moral of this story: Don’t do stupid things with stupid people in stupid places at stupid times, and you won’t win stupid prizes. Don’t get too worried about (catching an arrest while) wearing a protective mask under the governor’s order. You have much greater risk from infection vectors caused by touching your face/adjusting the mask while wearing it than facing an arrest for carrying while masked. Do the best of both worlds: Don’t touch your face and carry on.
If you or someone you know does get jammed up in a bad arrest for wearing a mask in compliance with Governor Pritzker’s order (while carrying a gun lawfully), please let us know right away.