* Mark Brown reports that Rep. La Shawn Ford might vote for a bill legalizing the concealed carrying of firearms next time around…
A West Side state legislator with a predominately African-American constituency says he is leaning toward breaking ranks with his fellow Chicago lawmakers to support allowing individuals to carry concealed weapons in Illinois.
Rep. La Shawn Ford, a third-term Democrat, told me he is prepared to become the first black legislator from the city to vote for a concealed carry law — if sponsors of the bill will add a provision requiring the National Rifle Association to pay for sensitivity training for police officers.
Ford, who hosted a spirited town hall meeting last week at which supporters and opponents debated the advisability of a such a law, said he believes a majority of his constituents want the right to own a gun.
“Black people want guns, and I know that sounds bad…,” Ford said.
“They’re saying we’re making criminals out of law-abiding citizens,” he said. “They’re saying you’re only siding with the criminals because the criminals could care less about the law.”
Some of them are saying that, and some are saying what I saw one woman tell him in a YouTube video of the meeting: “We put more guns on the street we’re going to have a bigger problem.”
The NRA thought they had at least one African-American vote the last time the issue made it to the House floor. But she either flipped or the NRA got it wrong to begin with. Nobody ever truly figured out what happened.
Rep. Ford voted “Present” on that earlier roll call.
* The Austin Weekly News was also at the Ford event…
Annette Nance-Holt was in the minority.
The mother of a slain 16-year-old teen, Nance-Holt was among a handful of people last week speaking out against carrying a concealed handgun during a West Side town hall meeting. She lost her son, Blair, to gun violence in May 2007 when a teen fired shots into a crowded CTA bus. Blair Holt was killed while four others were wounded. At an Aug. 31, town hall hosted by state Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-8), Nance-Holt said greater access to guns does not equal increased safety.
“Had everyone had a gun on the bus that day, there would have been a whole lot more people dead besides my son,” she said. “So I understand that people are scared…but I lost everything, and I still don’t want a gun.”
The meeting drew more than 200 attendees to an Austin banquet facility at 4630 W. Augusta. The majority there supported carrying a concealed firearm for self-protection. While the discussions were heated, the event remained civil between panelists and the audience.
* All those pro-gun Chicagoans who pay NRA dues are a big reason why the group has refused to accept this compromise…
[GOP state Sen. Sue Rezin] said one plan being considered is exempting the Chicago area, or perhaps Cook County, entirely from any concealed carry legislation.
“This might be our best shot as seeing such a bill passed,” she said.
State Rep. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley, agreed.
“I also think the best thing we could do is not make the new law stronger than existing home rule city ordinances,” he said. “Any concealed carry law would be easier to pass that way. I believe that might very well happen.”
If a Pittsfield chiropractor gets his way, his neighbors will be allowed to be armed in public.
Dan Mefford is spearheading a petition drive to have an initiative addressing the weapons issue placed on the March primary ballot.
“The initiative essentially bypasses the Chicago Machine that is currently ruling Illinois,” Mefford said. “I recommend that each county in Illinois get on board and pass the same gutsy version for the constitutional carry of arms.”
An initiative is a process that enables a specified number of voters by petition to propose a law and submit it to voters in a general election.
Still, there are hurdles to clear before carrying weapons in Pike County is legal.
If the initiative makes the ballot and passes, Mefford said the courts will decide if it is constitutional.
That’s rich. The state specifically outlaws concealed carry…
A person commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons when he knowingly… Carries or possesses in any vehicle or concealed on or about his person except when on his land or in his own abode, legal dwelling, or fixed place of business, or on the land or in the legal dwelling of another person as an invitee with that person’s permission, any pistol, revolver, stun gun or taser or other firearm
* Pike County cannot just override state law via local referendum. And the federal courts have not been kind lately to attempts to broaden gun rights with lawsuits…
The Second Amendment’s “right to keep and bear arms” is proving to be a right to keep a gun at home, but so far not a right to bear a loaded firearm in public.
The Supreme Court breathed new life into the amendment when it struck down strict handgun bans in Washington and Chicago and spoke of the “inherent right of self-defense.”
But to the dismay of gun rights advocates, judges in recent months have read those decisions narrowly and rejected claims from those who said they had a constitutional right to carry a loaded gun on their person or in their car. Instead, these judges from California to Maryland have said the “core right” to a gun is limited to the home.
* A New York federal court is the most recent…
New Yorkers do not have a constitutional right to carry a concealed handgun in public, a federal judge ruled yesterday.
In a case brought by four New Yorkers challenging the denial of “concealed carry” gun permits by four state judges, Southern District Judge Cathy Seibel said she found persuasive the reasoning of the Illinois’ Court of Appeals in People v. Marin, 795 N.E.2d 958 (2003), that the overriding purpose of gun statutes should be to prevent innocent people from being victimized by gun violence.
As such, Judge Seibel ruled, that granting licenses to carry concealed firearms is a matter of discretion to be decided by state authorities and is not a right.
The US Supreme Court will undoubtedly have to get involved here.
* As always with this issue, take a deep breath before commenting. This topic always brings out the hothead in people. No bumper-sticker slogans, either. Keep your prepared talking points to yourself. We’ve heard it all before, so you don’t need to tell us again.
* VIDEO: West Side Chicago Town Hall meeting for Concealed Carry part 1 of 3
* VIDEO: West Side Chicago Town Hall meeting for Concealed Carry part 2 of 3
* VIDEO: West Side Chicago Town Hall meeting for Concealed Carry part 3 of 3
* Kenn Blanchard Preaching Both God & Guns In Chicago Sept 10th