* Details matter, but this sure looks like a practical idea on guns…
Both sides of the gun-control debate could be headed for a rare agreement at the Statehouse on a push by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart to get guns out of the hands of felons and the seriously mentally ill.
His plan would require gun owners to surrender their state-issued Firearm Owners Identification Cards within 48 hours of being notified they were ineligible to possess a gun because of being convicted of a felony or domestic violence or being judged mentally ill.
A top gun-rights advocate told the Chicago Sun-Times late Tuesday that his “intuition” was an agreement could be reached on the issue with gun-control supporters.
In Cook County, about 5,000 people have had their state gun permits revoked by the Illinois State Police, making them ineligible to buy weapons. But only about 1,000 have actually turned in the cards, leaving them able to buy ammunition at will, Dart’s office said.
Under the sheriff’s measure, those who had their permits taken away also would have to account for where their weapons would be maintained during the period of time their FOID cards were revoked.
* Meanwhile, John Schmidt defends onetime foe Attorney General Lisa Madigan on her refusal to say whether she’s appealing the appellate court ruling that declares Illinois’ public carry ban unconstitutional…
In December I wrote in these pages on why Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan should not appeal the federal appellate court decision throwing out Illinois’ total ban on concealed carry. The Supreme Court decision in the New York case strongly reinforces that conclusion.
The question is one of judicial tactics, not a test of commitment to gun control. A total ban is the least defensible concealed carry law. In his December decision, 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner said the Illinois ban failed any test of constitutional scrutiny. That conclusion is almost inescapable now that the Illinois total ban is unique in the nation and Illinois crime rates give no support to the argument that the ban has a positive impact in reducing violence.
The positive side of the Supreme Court’s New York decision is that limits on concealed carry may pass constitutional muster. New York’s law requires any gun applicant to show a “special need” for a concealed carry permit and gives the permitting authority to local officials who can respond to differing statewide needs and interests. We don’t know how the appellate court would come out on such a law. In his decision, Posner expressed some reservation about the New York court’s analysis, but he reached no conclusion on whether a New York-type law would be upheld here.
Illinois can now follow New York’s lead and come up with a new law that the General Assembly believes meets Illinois’ particular needs and circumstances. After the New York decision, any reasonably drafted law, short of a total ban, has a real chance of withstanding constitutional challenge.
* And the Tribune editorial board concurs with that last point…
So, let’s go. Illinois could live with a concealed-carry law that recognizes local needs and interests. Gov. Pat Quinn and other Democratic leaders have signaled support for that option. The gun lobby doesn’t like the New York template, but it would be interesting to watch pro-gun lawmakers defend a vote to defeat a bill that for the first time establishes concealed carry in Illinois.
The Illinois Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on May 31, nine days before the clock runs out on the appellate court’s grace period. That court could stay its ruling if Illinois appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. Attorney General Lisa Madigan is wise to delay a decision on whether to appeal until the Legislature acts or doesn’t act.
Bottom line, the wisest course for the Legislature is to act: Pass a “may-issue” concealed carry law that provides local control.
The NRA won’t see the irony. To them, “may carry” might as well be “no carry.” From an ISRA action alert…
URGENT ALERT – YOUR IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED
GUN GRABBERS TRY TO HIJACK CONCEALED CARRY
YOU MUST MAKE PHONE CALLS IMMEDIATELY
Rabid gun grabber Rep. Kelly Cassidy has introduced amendments to HB0831 which hijack the court’s requirement to enact concealed carry and transform concealed carry into gun control.
IT’S IMPORTANT THAT YOU ACT IMMEDIATELY TO HALT CASSIDY’S SCHEME.
Kelly’s vision of concealed carry is absolutely unacceptable to law-abiding citizens. Her proposal contains all sorts of impediments to self defense – the worst of which is that carry licenses would be issues on a “may issue” basis.
UNDER KELLY’S PROPOSAL, YOU WOULD HAVE TO CONVINCE SOME POLITICAL HACK THAT YOUR LIFE IS WORTH DEFENDING.
That’s right, under Kelly Cassidy’s version of “concealed carry,” you would have to go down to your village hall and beg some civil servant for the right to defend yourself and your family from vicious street thugs. Of course, your chances of success will depend greatly on what you look like and how many checks you had written to your local sheriff’s reelection campaign committee.
* From the preamble in Rep. Cassidy’s bill…
The Seventh Circuit’s opinion in Moore favorably cited Kachalsky v. County of Westchester, 701 F.3d 81 (2d Cir. N.Y. 2012), a recent opinion of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld New York’s law restricting the carrying of firearms in public. New York’s law gives the local issuing authority considerable discretion in deciding whether to issue a license, and has been interpreted to require an applicant for an unrestricted license to demonstrate “a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community”. By favorably citing the Second Circuit’s opinion in Kachalsky, the Seventh Circuit in Moore indicated that it agreed that New York’s requirements are consistent with the Second Amendment.
* From the bill…
A sheriff or the [Chicago police superintendent] may submit a recommendation for approval of an application to the Department, if the applicant is an eligible individual under Section 20 who has sufficiently demonstrated, in the judgment of the sheriff or Superintendent, that:
(1) he or she has a particularized need for the license;
(2) he or she is a responsible person; and
(3) the issuance of a license is in the public’s interest.
“Particularized need” is defined in the proposal as meaning that the applicant is “exposed to unusual personal danger, distinct from other members of the community.”