The Truth About Concealed Carry in Illinois

“Emanuel was flanked by Garry McCarthy and Mike Pfleger during his rail against law-abiding gun owners,” Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson observes in a news release. “McCarthy, of course, is Emanuel’s police superintendent and the guy responsible for suppressing reports of last summer’s flash mob attacks on the Mag Mile. And, we all know Pfleger as the renegade priest who called for the murder of gun shop owners and legislators who vote against gun control bills. Thus, Emanuel’s credibility on the issue of violent crime is no better than that of the joker that preceded him.” Yes, well, Emanuel’s call for a state-wide gun registry is no joke . . .

The Land of Lincoln is the only state in these here United that doesn’t allow its citizens some form of concealed carry. You can thank the City of Chicago (a.k.a., The Chicago Machine). If Cook County didn’t exist, if the Windy City didn’t dominate the State legislature, it’s entirely possible that the largely rural, right-leaning, right-thinking, gun-clinging state of Illinois would have some of America’s most “liberal” gun laws.

And so it will. In the aftermath of the McDonald decision striking down the City’s handgun ban and the increasing public clamor to reclaim their constitutionally protected gun rights, the political reality is clear: Chicago can’t put the kibosh on legally-sanctioned concealed carry forever. Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel knows it. But he also knows how to play politics.

Behind the scenes, the battle for concealed carry has shifted, from “if” Illinois will have concealed carry to “how” that will happen. Emanuel and the Machine have a clear solution: create a system that makes it virtually impossible for any legal citizen to carry a handgun. In fact, it’s a fait accompli.

Just days after the Supreme’s smacked down Chicago’s handgun ban, the Council erected a series of hurdles that Good Twist [warning: not a supermodel] couldn’t surmount: high fees, mountainous paperwork, onerous qualifications, background checks, storage restrictions and, most importantly, registration with the police. Note: these are the regs for keeping a handgun at home.

The new City ordinance is, of course, a de facto handgun ban. But it is a city ban. The State of Illinois could eliminate all of its provisions with a stroke of a pen. And create a system whereby all Illinois residents could exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. In other words, concealed carry.

Obviously, that’s not something up with which Emanuel can put. The Chicago Machine depends on a subservient populace sucking the tit of political patronage. Gun rights represent the end of the culture of corrupt craven dependency that keeps the Machine alive. Emanuel will do whatever he can to strangle the dream of accountable democracy in its crib.

It’s a two-front battle: in both the legislature and the courts. Legally, gun rights advocates are not doing to so well. Five days ago, Federal District Judge Sue E. Meyerscough dismissed a challenge to Illinois statutes prohibiting concealed carry outside the home. Moore v. Madigan was full of 2A not good:

This Court finds that the Illinois Unlawful Use of Weapons’ and Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon’ statutes do not violate Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights. The United States Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit have recognized only a Second Amendment core individual right to bear arms inside the home. Further, even if this Court recognized a Second Amendment right to bear arms outside of the home and an interference with that right, the statutes nonetheless survive constitutional scrutiny.”

So much for McDonald’s “incorporation” (ruling that the constitutional right to keep and bear arms trumps state law), then. Anyway, while the Second Amendment Foundation appeals the ruling, Emanuel and his minions are using the breathing room provided by the “victory” to try to lure Illinois gun rights advocates into a legislative trap called “May Issue.”

You know; like California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. States where the state (or local authority) retains the right to just say no to armed self-defense. Where you have to prove that you have a need to carry a gun—rather than the state proving that you shouldn’t have one. States where most citizens, certainly poor citizens, have a slim to none chance of securing a concealed carry license.

Out of these relatively “gun free” (for law-abiding citizens) states, California offers the best insight into Emanuel’s plans. In the Golden State, you can secure a concealed carry license if you live in a rural area with a sympathetic sheriff. If you live in the sky-high crime zone of LA or some other urban enclave where the police maintain a monopoly on legal violence, fuhgeddaboutit. (Unless you’re a celeb or donate a lot of money to Democrats).

Emanuel and his mob want to model Illinois’ concealed carry laws on California’s. Not to put too fine a point on it, they want a Cooke County carve-out. We’ll give you concealed carry. All you have to do is make it “may issue” so we can do what we need to do to stop law-abiding citizens from defending themselves against crime. I mean, prevent criminals’ access to legal guns. Or some such thing.

If downstate legislators take the bait, Chicago will become just like LA or New York City. Only a directive from the Supreme Court of the United States will eliminate their de facto concealed carry handgun ban. And maybe not even then, given the asinine clause in the McDonald decision which authorized “reasonable restrictions” on the right to keep and bear arms.

So, does Rahm Emanuel really want a state-wide gun registry, complete with a $65 tax on every gun in its citizens’ possession? Sure! His base loves this stuff. And if Hizzoner doesn’t get a state-wide registry, it’s just another stick with which to hit gun rights advocates, so the Chicago pol can get them to “compromise” on May Issue. Emanuel can’t lose with this one.

The question is this: will gun rights advocates hang tough? After decades of gun control, after watching every other state in the union enable some kind of concealed carry, will the pro-carry forces hold out for what the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago really needs? Or will they sell the residents of Chicago down the river so that politicians can “grant” them their God-given, constitutionally protected right to armed self-defense?

Watch this space. Let’s hope that the good doesn’t become the enemy of the perfect. Otherwise we condemn millions of poor Chicago residents to more crime, violence and subservience to a system that doesn’t really care whether they live or die. As long as they protect their paymaster’s power.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

22 Responses to The Truth About Concealed Carry in Illinois

  1. avatarDogman says:

    “…up with which Emanuel can put…?”

  2. avatartdiinva says:

    Robert, it is Cook not Cooke county. Well its unofficial name is “Crook” county.

    The locations that keep law abiding citizens from owning a gun have one thing in common — a close working relationship between the Democratic Party and gangs. The Party uses gangs to create an economic and social wasteland that keep people poor, dependent and voting Democratic. If they allowed the law abiding citizen to own and carry the means to personal self-defense it would break the criminal monopoly on the use of force. Eventually, the power of the gangs would wane, economic life would return to the streets and the formerly dependent population would break free and vote these criminals out of office.

  3. avatarMatt Gregg says:

    The message is clear, if you live in Illinois move out now. North, south, east or west, you can’t go wrong.

  4. avatarAvid Reader says:

    Exactly my solution. I lived in IL for 8 years, and in the city of Chicago for five years. I don’t miss it in the least, for a variety of reasons.

    For good insight into what goes on there, go to http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/

    This cop blog picked up the Chicago DGU story from here earlier this week.

  5. avatarmichael says:

    Emanuel and Pfleger. A match not exactly made in heaven. Two of the most corrupt low-life scum in the Second City, or any city for that matter. One thing, though: they are both politically savvy opportunists, and are both intelligent, unlike the sad spectacle that is Detroit governance. So they’ve got that going for them.

  6. avatarTodd says:

    Robert–

    Lets be clear, the NRA and ISRA oppose a cook or chicago carve out.

    It is a few downstate legislators who have their constituants yelling at them because they never go to Chicago, and some of our own activists playing outhouse lawyers wanting their own brass ring.

    My prediction, is despite all the press in the last 48 hours, this will be a good year for Illinois gun owners.

  7. avatarKWAL says:

    In CA the one loophole in the “May Issue” stance is that if the govt gives some people carry permits they are being forced (in the courts), slowly, county by county, to reveal all the good cause statements of the people that have been issued permits. So they won’t be able to just issue at will without everyone knowing what “good cause” can get them a permit too. Too often it worked just like you said where only the “special” people get permits. Now the sheriffs ar having to show the “why” to everyone. I don’t think “special” counts as good cause in Shitown either.

  8. avatarGS650G says:

    Delaware has a permit reciprocity law with about 25 states, I can carry thanks to my Florida permit. This would be one of the few good things Gov. Mitner did in her term here.

  9. avatarRalph says:

    Massachusetts . . . Where you have to prove that you have a need to carry a gun.

    There’s no proof of need required under Massachusetts law. Rather, the standards for issuance depend entirely on the will or whim of the local CLEO, who has the say on who gets the license to carry a handgun. Some of the issuing authorities are actually “no issue,” such as Boston and environs. Some are “will issue unless you’re disqualified.” I’ve lived in two towns that were of the latter variety. No so-called “good cause” was required.

    FYI, there’s also an FID available for hunting rifles and shotguns. MA is “shall issue” for the FID, not “may issue” as it is for concealed carry and so-called “large capacity” rifles.

    Oh, and some of our brilliant lawmakers have introduced “knife control” laws that regulate not the carry of knives — which is already regulated — but the sale of knives. Major crazy sh!t, huh?

    • avatarGS650G says:

      What’s a FID I ask sarcastically from a state with no registration, ID cards, or mother may I requirements.

  10. avatarready,fire,aim says:

    this will back-fire on “the machine” (That’s what they called the system in Chicago way back when the original Daley ran the town) i have a feeling that being the only state in the U.S.A with these restrictions the people of Illinois are finally going to say “enough is enough” and make the change for the common good this I will predict

  11. avatarRecoveringAtheist says:

    How the Catholic Church allows Pfleger to wear a collar is beyond me. He is about as much a Catholic as I am (I read the Torah….)

  12. avatarTom says:

    Talking to people in down state Illinois, it seems that they are about as conservative as rural folk in Indiana. If Cook County was not all powerfull, then Illinois would probably have sane gun laws. I think Randy Wakeman is in Illinois.

  13. The ironic thing is, Rahm and the City of Chicago just wrote a $400,000 check to the 2nd Amendment Foundation to cover the foundations legal costs in the McDonald v. Chicago case that the 2nd Amendment Foundation won. That check is now funding the Foundations challenge to the state of Illinois’s ban on legally carrying a concealed weapon.

    http://therightsideofaustin.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/rahm-emanuel-funds-challenge-to-illinois-concealed-carry-ban/

  14. avatarSF says:

    Illinois is a huge state, most of which hates Chicago. This bureaucratic BS is why.

  15. avatarCO says:

    ” Chicago: No. 2 in the Nation for Murder — and Rising With a Bullet
    By Pete Winn
    May 30, 2012
        
    (CNSNews.com) – President Obama’s hometown of Chicago is Number 2 on the Top 10 list of Big Cities when it comes to murder – and is on a path to overtake New York as the murder capital of the United States.

    According to statistics released by the Chicago Police Department, there have already been 192 murders in Chicago through May 20 of this year – a figure that is 52 percent higher than the 126 reported during the same period last year.

    It also puts Chicago well above the 184 murders reported for the first six months of 2011, the latest statistics available.

    In fact, based on the FBI’s Uniform Crime Statistics for the first six months of 2011, Chicago is currently number two in the nation among big cities with a population of 250,000 or more when it comes to the number of murders.

    New York City – which has more than three times the population of Chicago — topped the list with 227 murders; followed by Chicago at No. 2 with 184; Detroit in third place with 173; Philadelphia in fourth with 158, Los Angeles was fifth at 148; New Orleans was No. 6 with 105 murders.”…..

    FUNNY HOW BOTH CHICAGO AND NEW YORK HAVE SUCH STRICT GUN LAWS BUT ARE TOP 2 MURDER CITIES… Maybe because nobody has the right to protect themselves by carrying firearms!!!

  16. avatarIron Sights says:

    Pfleger is just a thug in a collar and as bat-shit crazy as Bugsy Malone ever was.

  17. avatarCynical Chris says:

    Any update? I heard hopes that the lame duck session might get something done for CC here in Illinois but of course Pfleger and Rahm have come out with their petition fighting against our liberties. 6000 signatures of people who should be ashamed at the least; tried for treason would be better.

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