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Illinois legislators square off on gun rights

Written By | Apr 18, 2014

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2014 — That the Illinois legislature is not friendly to firearms is not news. Anyone who has followed firearms or gun related events over the last few years has heard about Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals striking down the Illinois restriction on carrying concealed firearms in December 0f 2012.

That monumental blow to gun-control advocates in Chicago, the epicenter of the Democratic gun grabbing, was not enough to knock the progressive anti-Second Amendment train off of its tracks.

Upset over the fact that they would now have to allow their subjects to keep and bear arms, the Illinois legislature sprang into action to make sure that those rights were as restricted as possible. In the latest session, as many as a dozen bills have been introduced aimed at restricting and redefining numerous aspects of the right to carry concealed in Illinois.

A few examples:

SB 3559 limits the number of firearms a person can carry to one. It also places restrictions on how many magazines a person can carry, as well as a restriction on carrying a concealed firearm in a car. In addition, it limits the magazine capacity to ten rounds.

This makes sense, because everyone knows every day Americans are crack shots, and don’t need more than ten rounds at a time. Let’s just hope that people hit what they aim for the first time, because carrying that second magazine, which you don’t need, will be illegal.

SB 3094 creates statewide registration for all firearms. It mandates that all firearms must be registered, and that anyone who purchases ammunition must first show that they own the weapon they are buying the ammunition for and that the ammunition is the correct kind.

Again, the logic in this is undeniable. What better way for the government to come to terms with realizing they have been infringing on your constitutional right to carry, than by making you register your firearms so that if they change their mind they know where to find you. As for the ammunition requirement, it is a sensible safety measure; we all know gun owners like putting the wrong ammunition in the chamber.

SB 3561 would prohibit firearms from being carried on the grounds of a place of worship.

You know, because that’s not private property controlled by people with wants and political ideals independent from government’s. Andi we all know that the government is here to protect us from ourselves.

SB 3010 prohibits an individual from carrying a concealed weapon into a Department of Transportation rest area.

This is probably an attempt to stop roving bands of armed families from starting range wars over parking spaces and line position at the restroom. Everyone knows criminals like to go on road trips and get into gun fights at DOT rest stops. Better safe than sorry.

SB 2594 makes it a crime for certain bar and restaurant owners who do over 50 percent of their business in on site alcohol consumption to fail to inform people that concealed weapons are not allowed on the premises at any time. They are considered to be in violation of the law, and could get a $5,000 fine. Concealed license holders are under this provision prohibited from venturing into these establishments with their firearms.

This of course, is to counter the apparently overwhelming number of shootouts that occur at Applebees and TGI Fridays in Illinois.

These restrictions were made to hurt. They were introduced to take the teeth out of an individual’s right to carry a concealed weapon in Illinois.

The Firearms Concealed Carry Act is the prime target for anti-gun legislators in Illinois. Even though they pushed through a veto by Governor Quinn, they knew that once it was passed, they could burden it with numerous and restrictive infringements to make it seem as though the law was never passed in the first place.

All of the places that these provisions seek to prohibit concealed carry are the very places that concealed carriers go about their daily lives. There are proposed restrictions on carrying on public property, in government buildings, and other places which have the potential to make carrying concealed in Illinois a burden on the individual carrier.

What good is a concealed weapon if you have to leave it behind when you go about your daily business, visiting places you visit every day of your life? If these provisions pass, you can’t carry at a restaurant that sells alcohol, even if you aren’t drinking. You can’t carry your weapon on Church grounds, even if the Church has no such restrictions. And you can only carry one magazine on your person, even though such a provision has no bearing on criminals who it is actually aimed at.

But some are fighting back.

Several bill have been introduced in the state senate which repeal certain provisions within the Firearms Concealed Carry act.

SB 3141 allows individuals to carry on property which falls under the jurisdiction of the Cook County Forrest Preserve.

SB 3142 strikes an existing prohibition against carrying concealed on public transportation such as buses or trains which are paid for in full, or mostly by public funds.

SB 3143 strikes the existing prohibition against carrying concealed in a public park.

SB 2969 prohibits the Firearms Conceal Carry Act from being used as a means to restrict the rights of other individuals under other existing acts which grant them certain rights already established.

These bills need the support of the people in Illinois. They are direct counters to the increasingly infringing proposals listed above them. While many legislators in Illinois are seeking to pull the claws out of any kind of pro-carry legislation, there are those who are still there to protect the individual right to keep and carry firearms.

McDonald v. Chicago should have been the nail on the coffin for gun-control zealots. The ruling affirmed not only the right of the individual to bear arms, but that right as guaranteed by the Constitution applied to all of the states.

But it was not. It was simply a bump in the road for them. They are like the Black Knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, who had his legs and arms chopped off but still wanted to fight. That is the gun grabbers at this point; multiple Supreme Court and Circuit Court rulings have affirmed conceal carry Constitutionality and the individual right to bear arms, yet they still feel the need to further display their complete contempt for the idea of the armed citizen.

Perhaps Chicago did not notice, but with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation their city has been listed, repeatedly, among the most dangerous urban areas in the country for years. The same people who preach to the country about the epidemic of gun violence and how it needs to be addressed are the same people who propose and pass laws which severely diminish the right of the individual to address that violence on their own terms.

The proposals limiting the freedom and places where an individual can carry their firearm are simply meant to deter gun owners from purchasing guns, owning guns, and carrying guns on a daily basis. While they were forced to pass legislation allowing for their citizens to carry concealed, they are restricting the places and manner in which they can carry with increased severity and disregard for the basic right of human self-defense.

The right to keep and bear arms cannot be freely enjoyed and practiced if those from whom the right is supposed to protect us are the same people who regulate the right. The actions of the government of Illinois, and Chicago in particular, are the perfect examples of the extent elected officials will go to disarm a populace. Their actions show the American people that their government does not trust them with firearms. After all these years of crime and murders in Chicago, after all the people victimized while the government has done nothing to protect them, the people finally have the ability to protect themselves. And it is the government of Illinois, and Chicago, who are already devising ways to take that away from them.

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Conor Higgins

Conor Higgins has a BA from Catholic University in DC and an MA form George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, both in history. When he not getting his hands dirty in 2nd Amendment and firearms news he is doing his best to take a crack at some drive-by political analysis. And every now and then he may or may not review a low end bourbon for the tax write off. Sit back, relax, and enjoy Back Porch Politics.