* WUIS has posted a very good interview of NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde’s reaction to yesterday’s appellate court ruling. Listen to the whole thing…
* The AP also has a pretty good roundup of what the NRA and other pro-gun folks want to happen next…
The gun rights backers interpreted the 2-1 appellate court ruling as a mandate instructing lawmakers to pass a bill allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons in public with few if any restrictions. Todd Vandermyde, a National Rifle Association lobbyist, said gun control advocates could forget any limits such as partial bans near places such as day care centers and schools.
“It’s over for them. They have no stroke in this game, they have no negotiating power,” Vandermyde said. “When you start drawing circles around all those places — day care centers, schools and parks — that’s a ban and they don’t get a ban. They lost.”
State Rep. Brandon Phelps, who sponsored a restrictive concealed carry bill last year that lost by the slimmest of margins, said gun control advocates are not going to like the next bill they see on the floor of the General Assembly.
“I said on the floor (last year), ‘A lot of people who voted against this, one of these days you’re going to wish you did, because of all the limitations and the safety precautions we put in this bill, because one of these days the court’s going to rule and you’re not going to like the ruling,’” said Phelps, a Democrat. “Today’s the day.”
Richard Pearson, the executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, said lawmakers could quickly pass the Phelps bill when they reconvene the first week of January. The bill, he said, “contains all the things — background checks, classroom time — that all the parties wanted, so it’s ready to go.” But that’s not to say all those provisions will be in the bill this time around, he said.
“We bent over backwards before and tried to accommodate everybody, and they just threw it in the garbage,” Pearson said. “Maybe we won’t be so accommodating now.”
* Gun control advocates like House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie now want to craft a much more restrictive law, but the NRA is having none of that…
House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, a vocal gun-control advocate, said, “If we are required to adopt some form of concealed carry, I would hope we have one that puts strong restrictions on who can carry guns and where they can carry them.”
But jubilant gun-rights advocates warned that, with the court’s ruling and the six-month deadline, they’re unlikely to agree to the kinds of compromises that they have in past debates over concealed carry.
“We don’t have to negotiate anymore … There’s not much else to argue about,” said Todd Vandermyde, the National Rifle Association’s chief Illinois lobbyist, who has been trying for years to get concealed-carry legislation passed in the state. “If they won’t pass a bill … then you could walk down the street with a rifle slung over your back and there’s nothing they can do about it.”
The NRA could, indeed, try to block any sort of “compromise” proposal that it disagrees with, which would mean a permanent injunction against current state law. They have to be taken seriously. Leader Currie cannot continue to dismiss them.
* And Rep. Phelps sounds like he’s ready to deal, but more on his terms than the opposition’s…
Phelps would not rule out possibly trying to move concealed carry legislation during the upcoming lame duck legislative session, which runs from Jan. 2 through midday on Jan. 9. But he stopped short of saying how closely a new bill would mimic HB 148.
“In that bill, there were a lot of limitations, a lot of safety guidelines, background checks. But pretty much, this court today didn’t really specify where you can carry, where you can’t. It just sent a mandate that Illinois has to have a concealed carry law in 180 days,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I think we can come to an agreement. I think we can pass sensible legislation.”
* At this point, anyway, we probably shouldn’t expect action in the lame duck session…
(A)n aide to Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, hinted at a lengthy legislative response time that could well go beyond the first two weeks of January.
“We’re going to take the time the court has given us to carefully review the ruling and to consult with the attorney general’s office before we determine what legislative action we take on concealed carry,” Cullerton spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon said.