We were tipped off by John Boch at Guns Save Life that there’s a small rebellion brewing among downstate Illinois state’s attorneys over the right to bear arms, something that – unlike any other state in the union – is illegal. myfoxchicago.com is reporting that Mike Valentine, Edwards County state’s attorney (who’s also happens to be in a reelection fight), confirms that he won’t prosecute any lawful gun owners found carrying a gat. Interesting how the prospect of losing your job focuses the mind, isn’t it? But Edwards county’s a sparsely populated rural tract in the state’s southeast corner, about a hundred miles east of St. Louis. McLean county, on the other hand . . .
…is smack dab in the middle of the Land o’ Lincoln and includes the Bloomington/Normal area along with the University of Illinois. About 170,000 people live there. According to gunssavelife.com:
McLean County State’s Attorney Ron Dozier is set to announce publicly today, Monday, August 2o, to the media and residents of McLean County, Illinois, his decision not to prosecute Firearm Owner Identification Card holders who are arrested for merely possessing a concealed weapon in violation of Illinois’ prohibition on law-abiding residents carrying the means with which to protect themselves.
In essence, with Dozier’s decision, gun owners may be able to use their FOID card as a de facto carry permit in that county.
That’d be a whole ‘nother kettle of fish. And one that’s a lot closer to Chicago than Edwards County. Dozier announced he won’t be running for reelection. But as the sun rises in the east, gun controllers in the County of Cook are, well, see for yourself :
“What if somebody walks into a soccer game and they have a Tek-9 pistol? Are they gonna do something or are they gonna say there’s basically nothing they can do about it?” Senator Dan Kotowski asked.
“Higher law enforcement officials should look into it. I think the attorney general should look into this.”
Except as a spox for AG Lisa Madigan pointed out, state’s attorneys don’t report to anyone in Springfield. They’re locally elected and have wide latitude in deciding what cases to prosecute.
State rep La Shawn Ford can see which way the wind is blowing, though, and has a compromise he’s like to see adopted:
He’s proposed a trade-off: enact a ban on so-called assault weapons, while granting each county the power to make its own decision about carrying concealed handguns.
“I think that each county, because of the differences, should decide on their own. Yes.”
That AWB talk might rankle, but if a change along these lines were made it would constitute a tectonic shift in the most g-unfriendly state in the nation. Of course, Ford’s proposal would require action in Springfield, something that’s always in short supply – except when it comes to raising the benighted state’s taxes. So don’t hold your breath, La Shawn.