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Senate panel OKs concealed-carry bill over NRA opposition

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ILLINOIS_LEGISLATURE_39144801.JPGSen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) speaks to lawmakers during a Senate Executive Committee hearing on concealed-carry legislation Thursday. Under Raoul's bill, those wanting to carry a gun in Chicago would need permission from city police. Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), left, looks on. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

SPRINGFIELD-Favored by gun-control advocates, a push establishing tight limits on where Illinois gun owners could carry their weapons in public advanced in the state Senate Thursday over objections from the National Rifle Association.

The measure, which passed the Senate Executive Committee by a 10-4 vote, with one member voting present, surfaced less than a month before a June 9 deadline imposed by a federal appeals court for Illinois to end its last-in-the-nation prohibition on concealed-carry.

"I'm trying to do something to respond to the mandate of the court to promote and preserve public safety and to balance the rights of the law-abiding gun owners in the process," state Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), the bill's chief Senate sponsor, told the panel.

Within Chicago, Raoul's legislation would require police Supt. Garry McCarthy to sign off on all concealed-carry applicants before they could get permits from the Illinois State Police, setting up what gun-rights advocates fear would be a choke-point that could keep city gun owners from getting licenses.

"I can see Garry McCarthy abusing the snot out of that," said National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde, who opposed the legislation.

Vandermyde insisted the bill wasn't crafted to meet the requirements of the December federal appeals court ruling that tossed Illinois' last-in-the-nation prohibition on concealed-carry but rather an effort to keep Illinois gun owners from exercising their Second Amendment rights.

"In our eyes, this is not a carry bill," Vandermyde told the committee. "This is a bill to discourage people and prevent people from carrying a firearm and exercising their constitutional, fundamental right to keep and bear arms for self-defense in public. We can put lipstick on a pig and it's still a pig, and that's what this is."

Raoul's bill, which could be voted on by the Senate Friday, also would permit Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and other sheriffs to lodge objections to any concealed-carry applicants that the State Police would have to consider along with 17 other qualifying hurdles.

Among those requirements are the broad standards of whether an applicant demonstrates "good moral character" and whether the issuance of a concealed-carry license to that person is "consistent with public safety."

One legislative critic said that standard is too vague.

"Is it the guy didn't go to enough [of his kids'] softball games when they were high-schoolers or grade-schoolers, someone who drank too much, didn't spend enough time at home, stole supplies from the office and didn't get caught. What are you looking for?" asked state Sen. Dale Righter (R-Charleston).

"In an investigation of an application, there probably are some occurances and something that could be indicative of character that would be a threat to public safety that I can't imagine as I sit here," answered Raoul, who said that particular language was patterned after Indiana's concealed-carry statute.

Backed by Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Raoul's measure would prohibit anyone with concealed-carry permits from going into government buildings, bars, public-transit trains and buses, airports, schools, day-care centers, hospitals, sports arenas and stadiums and university property, among other places.

The legislation, House Bill 183, also would let home-rule communities across the state, like Chicago, Oak Park and more than 200 other municipalities, set even tighter limitations on where concealed weapons would be allowed.

Opponents argued that different, town-by-town, concealed-carry regulations would pose a hardship to gun owners and could turn some unwittingly into lawbreakers.

"What troubles me about it, in particular, is the notion of this sort of patchwork from town to town," said Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine). "I'm picturing a constituent coming down to visit me from Palatine, driving down I-55, and they have a concealed-carry permit. Do they have to do their homework along the way from town to town of what restrictions there are if they want to get off and go to my favorite diner in Dwight?

"Don't they have to know town by town what the restrictions are, and isn't that a potentially undue burden on them to exercise that right that the 7th circuit has reiterated flows to them from the Second Amendment?" Murphy said.

But Raoul defended the approach and predicted there would not be a "mad rush" of municipalities adopting their own standards.

"We tried to develop a pretty exhaustive list of what we'd think would be sensitive places within any municipality," he said. "As good as we think we are, there may be something unique to a particular municipality."

After Thursday's committee vote, Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) said the concealed-carry legislation could surface for a floor vote as early as Friday, but the top Senate Democrat stopped short of predicting its passage.

"It's pretty close," Cullerton said.

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13 Comments

Dont' see too many permits being issued in Chicago if this is approved.

And the gangs will go on shooting, the law abiding citizens will still have there hands tied.

The headline proclaims,"Senate panel OK's concealed-carry bill over NRA opposition," but this proposed law from the corrupt Chicago political machine is absolutely not a concealed carry law, it is an obscenity. The sponsors of this bill, to slightly paraphrase a famous line from a movie, are loudly and proudly proclaiming,"We don't need no stinkin' Constitution." The sponsors of this bill are pretending to comply with the ruling from the 7th Circuit Court to create some kind of a concealed carry law for private citizens to carry a handgun for self-defense. But what they are really trying to do is to make their corrupt system of special privileges for special people a legitimate law of the land. Right now, people like State Sen. Donne Trotter can manipulate the system and arrange to be carried on the books of a security guard company so that he can legally carry a handgun for self-defense. Many other special people are doing similar things so that they can legally carry a concealed handgun. But instead of hiding their system of bribery and exchanging favors in the shadows, they want to proudly bring their corrupt system into the sunlight. They don't care that it is extremely obvious that only the cronies of these corrupt thieving politicians will be allowed to get a concealed carry license. They have such an extreme contempt for the voters of Illinois that they now want to brazenly show how much power they have by passing a CCL law that openly displays its corruption, instead of hiding it in the shadows.

But I will be blunt. Many people in Illinois have become disgusted and fed up with the extreme contempt for our rights that the politicians in Illinois have inflicted on the people there. That extreme contempt for our rights is especially demonstrated by their attack on our right to defend ourselves against criminals. As a result, many people have fled Illinois. In 1980, Chicago had a population of 3,400,000 people. Now they're down to 2,800,000 people. And those people didn't move to the suburbs. Every ten years, in the reapportionment for Congress, Illinois loses a seat in the House of Representatives. When people leave, they take their tax dollars, their businesses, and their jobs with them. Moving companies are saying that a lot more people are moving out of the state than are moving into the state. That has severely damaged the tax base. Illinois recently passed a (supposedly) temporary doubling of the state income tax to deal with the budget shortfalls caused by people fleeing the corrupt system of government in Illinois. But that won't solve the problem.

So here it is: If the politicians want people to stay in Illinois, or to move to Illinois, then they have to respect our rights. And our right to defend ourselves is the most basic right that we have. It speaks about who we are as a people. We are not sheep. If you read the Declaration of Independence, you will see that it is our Creator (AKA: God) who endowed us with certain unalienable rights. The corrupt thieving politicians of Illinois did not endow us with any rights, therefore we should not have to beg permission of politicians with delusions of godhood to have the right to defend ourselves. The citizens of Chicago should not have to beg that permission from a Police Superintendent who thinks that judges, and even Supreme Court Justices, should make decisions on the Constitution based on opinion polls with trick wording in the questions.

Get rid of this phony CCL bill from phony politicians. Instead, pass a "Shall Issue" concealed carry bill, which would create a fairly run system where honest citizens could carry a handgun for self-defense.

"Within Chicago, Raoul's legislation would require police Supt. Garry McCarthy to sign off on all concealed-carry applicants before they could get permits from the Illinois State Police... also would permit Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and other sheriffs to lodge objections to any concealed-carry applicants that the State Police would have to consider along with 17 other qualifying hurdles. Among those requirements are the broad standards of whether an applicant demonstrates 'good moral character' and whether the issuance of a concealed-carry license to that person is 'consistent with public safety.'"

I don't see too many people getting approved for permits under this setup. Outside of family, friends, and campaign donors, as some observers are starting to whisper.

I've read the bill and I think it is a trap. The number of excepted places and the parking lots "and adjacent property" will make it exceedingly difficult to NOT break this law as a CCW licensee.

The United States Constitution is not limited to the outskirts of Chicago, Illinois. Shall Issue Conceal Carry, STATEWIDE, NO... cut-out for the Chicago Political Machine. Let the law abiding citizens have their Constitutional Right to Bear Arms in self defense and let the Criminal Gang Bangers and scum of Chicago, live in fear of the unknown armed citizen.

Is anyone surprised that Chicago legislators are screwing up what should be a simple concept?

Every single law abiding citizen who fills out an application and completes a reasonable amount of training should be able to carry a concealed weapon ANYWHERE in Illinois. Period.

Theaters, schools, malls, bars, hospitals, you name it----ANYWHERE.

An armed citizen who takes the trouble to go through the steps it takes to carry legally poses very little threat to anyone. Does the Chicago Police Supt. really think that permit holders are going to be his biggest problem?

And now, by specifically listing places that criminals KNOW their victims won't be armed is inviting trouble. All this bill does is continue to restrict our rights and create a list of "soft" targets.


Frankly the zealots at the NRA wouldn't be happy unless we were to become Somalia or Afghanistan where we could carry everything, it's working well there---ISN'T IT??? I'm just wondering how "legally" arming the gangbangers, is going to make me safer. Right now they go to jail when caught, with the NRA they suddenly become victims protecting themselves, OH I GET IT, statistically then crime will go down and "legal" citizens are suddenly good guys with a gun taking care of those bad guys with a gun..

This atrocity is not even close to what the courts have ordered. This is nothing more than a ploy to prevent law abiding citizens from protecting themselves. This type of "bill" is nothing more than an attempt to turn all law abiding citizens into Felons and allow the gangs of this horrible state to continue to run free with no regard for the life of others. It is imperative that you call your reps and senators and TELL them that you will support nothing less than the following:

ONE STATE, ONE LAW
SHALL ISSUE
LESS THAN 8 Hours of commercial (not private) training
NO MORE THAN $100 for 5 year term
PREEMPTION!!!
NO RIDICULOUS CARRY LOCATION RESTRICTIONS!

These malefactors must be forced to submit to the constitutional reality that a fundamental right cannot be arbitrarily infringed.

The time must come when Judge Legg's admonition in Woolard v. Sherican becomes the immutable standard for Second Amendment issues:

"A citizen may not be required to offer a 'good and substantial reason' why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right‘s existence is all the reason he needs." - District Judge Benson Everett Legg for the U.S. 4th Circuit, Woollard v. Sheridan

How does a straightforward interpretation of the U.S. Constitution make anyone a zealot?

And please tell me you don't actually believe your premise that "gangbangers" will comply with concealed carry legislation. It is precisely because they Do Not obey the law in the first place that law abiding citizens are in danger. Criminals HAVE guns, and currently they know that law abiding citizens do NOT have them. HB183 is a joke.

This 'sky if falling' mentality that Ilinois will overnight become similar to "Somalia and Afghanistan" is just your inflammatory rhetoric trying to hype up a problem that does not--and will not--exist in Illinois if people are allowed to excercise their 2nd Amendment rights.

Personally, I hope the state legislature doesn't pass a CC bill at all, because then on June 10 with no bill in place when we become America's 5th Consitutional Carry state. As far as I know, it seems to be working fine for Vermont, Alaska, Wyoming and Arizona. In one month there is probably more gun related crime in the allegedly "gun free" City of Chicago than those four states combined over the same time period.

Anti-gun folks are "crying wolf" about the dangers of concealed carry now, because once it is proven that there is no danger from an armed citizenry, their argument vanishes.

Why are Chicago legislators so afraid of people who WANT to obey the law?

Are people who are willing to undergo a background & criminal check AND hours of training REALLY the biggest problem facing Chicago?

Do you think that if people who've undergone these conditions in order to excercise a Constitutional right are going to suddenly become a menace?

Are people going to get their carry permits so that THEN they can go hold up a liquor store, or rob a bank? I seriously doubt it.

The only people who need to fear an armed citizen are criminals.

But then, maybe that reveals why so many Chicago legislators are against it...

So, the demonstrably immoral politicians are going to determine if an applicant is of "good moral character"? At least they know what the signs are for rejection.

Duty to Inform (DTI) w/criminal penalties was placed in Rep. Phelps HB997 carry bill by NRA contract lobbyist Todd Vandermyde, NOT the Chicago machine. With DTI any cop off duty, out of uniform, outside of jurisdiction or a police impersonator like John Gacy with a fake badge can approach a citizen and they must announce that they are armed. If not, the cops can arrest and charge with 6 months or 1 yr. in jail! 95% of NRA members are small town people like Phelps who really don't care about DTI because "everyone knows me around here, I'm one of the good guys." NRA and ISRA have figured out they can use folks from Chicago for their lawsuits and get paid. If Otis McDonald get shoved on the sidewalk by an unmarked tac team on the way to the store, hey more money for the cops and lawyers. Leaving DTI in the bill is job security for the NRA lobbyist, and they can use Chicago folks for the plaintiffs. Meanwhile down in Mayberry the Southern Illinois types haven't figured out that the State police will tow their monster trucks and seize their guns. If only we could close our eyes real hard and make it be 1962 again. The downstaters haven't figured out that Phelps is a politician, and Vandermyde is a professional lobbyist, not their personal friend. If folks in Chicago get set up and murdered by police criminals, hey who cares, the small towners never travel outside their burg anyway. The rubes all care so much about Otis McDonald and everyone in Cook County that they won't accept may issue, that would be abused. But DTI is okay, just flash your carry license to the plainclothes tac team, announce you have a gun and you'll be fine, because all cops are honest. Cops would never torture citizens with electric shock and suffocation, then send men to death row like Jon Burge. With the federal court providing the best chance in 50 yrs. for a good carry bill, downstaters are working hard to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and do what they do best: lose. Thanks Todd! Did Vandermyde learn his lobbying techniques from William Dugan at the Intl. Union of Operating Engineers local 150 before the US Attorney got him on federal charges in 2010? How much are Chris Cox and Chuck Cunningham at NRA/ILA paying this guy?


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