Lawmakers in Illinois are running out of time to adopt some type of carry legislation and Chicago-based anti-gunners are pushing the most restrictive measure possible to create a checkerboard situation that would leave the Prairie State with a mishmash of conflicting local firearms regulations aimed at discouraging citizens from exercising their right to bear arms.
There are only a few business days remaining before the June 9 deadline set by the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in a case filed by the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation known as Moore v. Madigan, which they won in December. The General Assembly is supposed to adjourn this Friday. A similar case filed by the National Rifle Association – Shepard v. Madigan – reinforces the pressure on legislators in Springfield to get busy.
The restrictive measure, supported by anti-gun Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn, would allow local gun laws to remain intact. Another proposal includes a state preemption clause that would place all power to regulate firearms in Illinois solely in the hands of the legislature.
SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb is waiting to see what the Illinois Legislature finally adopts. The state was given 180 days to act by Judge Richard Posner, and there is very little sand remaining in the hourglass.
In December, Judge Posner wrote, “The right to ‘bear’ as distinct from the right to ‘keep’ arms is unlikely to refer to the home. To speak of ‘bearing’ arms within one’s home would at all times have been an awkward usage. A right to bear arms thus implies a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home.”
Judge Posner subsequently added, “To confine the right to be armed to the home is to divorce the Second Amendment from the right of self-defense described in Heller and McDonald.” He was referring to the two Supreme Court rulings that affirmed the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right to keep and bear arms.
Until now, Illinois has been the holdout state, the last bastion of prohibitive legislation that bans carrying firearms outside the home for personal protection.
The Chicago contingent is in a predicament that would be uncomfortable and embarrassing for lawmakers in any state west of the Mississippi, considering the homicide rate their city suffers under the current regime. But they are the Chicago contingent, and they seem immune to embarrassment and discomfort while the bodies pile up, as this column noted yesterday.