* Look, like it or not, if it’s a constitutional right to carry a gun outside one’s home, then that means everybody has to be treated equally under the Constitution…
The head of an influential bloc of black lawmakers says he may be able to support a law that allows Illinoisans to carry concealed weapons in every county except the state’s most populated one.
State Rep. Will Davis, D-Homewood, who chairs the House Legislative Black Caucus, said Cook County is too congested to allow people to carry firearms on the streets and should be exempted from any statewide concealed gun law.
“I think there could be some room for compromise,” Davis said.
As head of the black caucus, Davis could play a key role in crafting a concealed weapons law in the wake of a federal court ruling Tuesday that struck down as unconstitutional the state law that prohibits most citizens from carrying a concealed handgun in public.
There are ways around this, but the NRA will likely do everything it can to block them. For instance, the county sheriff could be given discretion on whether to issue permits. It’s unlikely that Cook County’s sheriff would hand out very many. But the NRA is so far taking a hardline stance against any such ideas…
“We are not going to accept that. Chicago is not going to get their own rules. Your rights don’t change by the zip code you live in,” said Vandermyde. “We’re not going to accept that kind of legislation here in Illinois.”
* Cook County and Chicago are gonna fight tooth and nail to water this down as much as humanly possible…
Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted Tuesday’s federal appellate court decision as “wrongheaded” as he offered legal help to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan as she weighs an appeal. […]
For his part, Emanuel noted his efforts while working for former President Bill Clinton to require background checks for gun buyers and ban semi-automatic assault weapons.
“We fought against the National Rifle Association. They had not been beaten in 30 years in the United States Congress, and we beat ‘em,” Emanuel said.
“I think this opinion by the 7th Circuit Court is also wrongheaded,” he added.
* But there’s a real danger with appealing this ruling…
“If the bill is appealed to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court rules in favor of concealed carry, all of the states that have restricted carry laws go bye bye,” said Vandermyde.
* So if it’s not appealed and if Chicago and Cook can’t come to an agreement or find the votes to beat the gun guys, the NRA can just stall this thing until June, when the appellate court will step in…
The Court has given the legislature 180 days to find a solution.
“If they fail to do that, the Unlawful Use of Weapons’ action is found to be unconstitutional and there’s an injunction against its enforcement across the state,” said Vandermyde. “That means, if you have a FOID card in your pocket, you’ll be able to walk down the street with any firearm that’s legal in the state of Illinois.”
* Gov. Quinn is taking a far more moderate approach following the ruling than Emanuel…
“We have to have reasonable limitations so people who have clear situations where they should not be carrying a gun, for example, those with mental health challenges, those who have records of domestic violence, we cannot have those sorts of people eligible to carry weapons, loaded weapons, on their person in public places” Quinn said.
National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde said the governor is “being very pragmatic in his approach” on concealed carry. Though Vandermyde expected gun rights groups to hold firm on a variety of points, he said his group wanted to “work for a reasonable solution and policy on right to carry.”
Contrast those comments with last year…
“The concept of concealed, loaded hand guns in the possession of private citizens does not enhance public safety, on the contrary it increases danger for everyday people as they go about their lives,” Quinn said, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“I don’t think we’re in the business of trying to increase danger to the people of Illinois. We want to work with our law enforcement and prevent bad things from happening,” Quinn continued. “I think the passage of this law by the General Assembly would be most unwise and they should know where they governor stands [i.e. he’d veto it] and where the people stand.”