Illinois becomes the 50th state to enact concealed carry

Illinois

For gun rights advocates, it’s proof that miracles really do happen…or else hell has apparently frozen over in July.  Illinois has now shed its title as the only state with no concealed carry.

The state legislature overturned Governor Pat Quinn’s veto by a margin of 41-17 in the senate and 77-31 in the House, a veto Quinn used to push for changes he felt were necessary such as prohibiting guns in restaurants that serve alcohol and limiting gun-toting citizens to just one firearm at a time, despite there being no demonstrative advantages in either of these proposals.

For gun rights advocates in Illinois, the fight is sure to continue due to the structure of the concealed carry law:

The law as approved by the Legislature permits anyone with a Firearm Owner’s Identification card who has passed a background check and undergone gun-safety training of 16 hours — longest of any state — to obtain a concealed-carry permit for $150.

Training is a sore point for many in the Second Amendment crowd, and for good reason.  A training requirement can easily be used to artificially limit the number of people who are allowed to carry a firearm by making the requirement an difficult as possible.

However, many Second Amendment rights observers are sure to be surprised by the law’s “Shall Issue” slant, something not expected in such a progressive stronghold state.  While the training requirement may be used to limit, there is no language in the law that permits law enforcement officials to have an arbitrary determination over who is permitted to carry and who isn’t.

Despite the training requirement though, the law isn’t all that bad.  For example, what if Quinn had gotten his way?:

But one part of the compromise had to do with establishments that serve alcohol. The law will allow diners to carry weapons into restaurants and other establishments where liquor comprises no more than 50 percent of gross sales. One of the main provisions of Quinn’s amendatory veto was to nix guns in businesses that serve any alcohol.

He also wants to limit citizens to carrying one gun at a time, a gun that is completely concealed, not “mostly concealed” as the initiative decrees. He prefers banning guns from private property unless an owner puts up a sign allowing guns — the reverse of what’s in the proposal — and would give employers more power to prohibit guns at work.

Senate President John Cullerton, who represents part of Chicago, has put forth a bill that will make Quinn’s changes to the just passed law.  However, it’s important to note a few things about these ridiculous changes Quinn wants made in the law.

First, let’s take a look at the idea of guns in restaurants that serve alcohol.  On the surface it makes a lot of sense.  Even dyed-in-the-wool gun people acknowledge that guns and alcohol don’t make a great combination.  However, many states had exactly what Quinn wants on that score.  When Georgia, for example, sought to repeal that provision, gun control advocates screamed “blood will run in the streets”.  What really happened was a different matter.

There was no appreciable change in gun violence.  Why?  Because law abiding people aren’t the problem in the first place.

Of course, Quinn also seems to be of the opinion that if someone has more than one gun, they are somehow a menace.  That’s hardly the case.  You see, guns are mechanical devices.  They’re built by human beings.  They’re loaded with ammunition made my humans.  All that put together means that, from time to time, it can malfunction.  Many people are concerned that a malfunction can happen at the moment they need their gun most.

This isn’t unusual.  Many police officers carry back up firearms for the same reason.

So what about the proposal for a sign granting permission to be required first?  Well, do we require a sign to permit people to say what they will on private property?  To restaurants have to put up a sign granting permission for patrons to say grace over their meal?

Of course we don’t.  While it is private property, we don’t grant an expectation that a constitutional right doesn’t extend to that property.  Instead, we grant property owners the authority to carve out an exception if they so choose, and there’s no reason why gun’s should be treated any different.

The truth is Quinn and his style of Democrat don’t like guns.  We get that.  However, the tough gun laws haven’t done Chicago a bit of good lately as dozens have lost their lives to violence in recent weeks.

Maybe, just maybe, the truth is that criminals don’t obey laws?  Who would have thought?


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