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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.

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54 Responses to Downstate Recognition of 2A Means Pucker Time in Chicago

  1. Interesting. Perhaps someone could ask (on camera, of course) Ms. Ford to explain just what an “assault weapon” is?

      • Being that it is a gun-grabber we are currently discussing, I find that to be a distinction without a difference.

    • To a gun-grabber, the definition is simple and straightforward, at least conceptually: An “Assault Weapon” is any weapon which can be used to commit assault.

      • I guess I better go get my number two pencils registered! I mean gosh the lead poisoning alone is a lawsuit waiting to happen!

      • A lot of uninformed people, even pro-guners, take the terms literally. I got in to a argument with some guy on youtube who thought a AR-15 type rifle was a battle rifle, because people took them in to battle.

        • The AR15 is the official weapon of the US military, even though there are other weapons used by different forces and branches. It is called an ‘assault weapon’ because it is capable of being switched from one shot at a time to full automatic (machine gun) with flip of a lever. The assault weapon ban is an attempt to be rid of the “scary looking” posers, which do look nearly exactly like both the AR15, and the very popular AK47, the Russian Kalashnikov assault weapon of WW II.
          It has been a federal crime to sell, buy. or even possess any full automatic weapons without a permit from the appropriate branch of the US Govt. since 1934.
          While consistently being described as assault weapons, none of the weapons in the Fast and Furious debacle have, to date, been shown to be actual assault (full automatic) weapons.

  2. State Rep. LaShawn Ford needs to consider that ignoring the positive benefits of firearm ownership has, in part, been responsible for the widespread violent crime in his district and other districts in Chicago, where homicide are up sharply this year and Chicago police have failed to solve over three-quarters of those homicides ( http://www.gunssavelife.com/?p=1005 ).

    Ignoring the benefits of firearm ownership has consequences and Chicago residents are reaping the consequences of decades of strict gun control.

    They stubbornly refuse to consider that GUN CONTROL IS THE PROBLEM, not the solution.

    Oh well. Momentum is on our side.

    LaShawn is merely trying to offer something we want (right-to-carry) in exchange for using giving gun control advocates something they have been unable to pass for years: a so-called “assault weapons” ban. There’s also talk that they might also be offering other items from their age-old wish list, including magazine bans, and more.

    They know they are probably going to lose the Moore v. Madigan case which a decision is expected in the next couple of weeks and they are trying to get us to swallow a bitter pill before they have ZERO leverage thanks to a court ruling, which might even say a FOID card is effectively a license to carry!

    VIOLA! “1.2 million carry licenses instantly granted.” That’s their nightmare.

    Here’s Guns Save Life’s message (and I suspect the same message as the ISRA and NRA): We’re not going to take any bans to get right to carry. We’ve been patient. We’re going to get a good carry bill and we’re not ceding any of our rights to the gun grabbers.

    C’mon LaShawn: There’s room on this train for you, my brother. Why don’t you join us in passing right to carry and helping to reduce the violent crime rate and save lives throughout the state – including where your constituents live.

    Guns Save Life, LaShawn. Remember that.

    In more ways than one.

    John

    • Moore v. Madigan is a great case for concealed carry rights. IT has been argued to the 7th Circuit–the same circuit that slammed Chicago in the Ezell case, and at least seems to “get it.” But simply because a case has been argued is no yardstick as to when the opinion will actually be made–it could be a long time. The one area where I think the court will try to waffle is to on the one hand recognize a right to bear arms outside the home and other hand try to find a way to avoid unregulated concealed carry if it invalidates the Illiois statute. Only one court to date–the trial court in Woollard vs. Maryland–has held that the only good cause needed to carry a weapon is the right itself. I have a hard time seeing this circuit go that far–remember that it was the 7th that upheld Chicago’s gun ban in McDonald v. Chicago that was reversed by the Supreme Court. Although it has shown little patience for the stunts Chicago has been pulling to avoid licensing anyone to have a firearm in their home, I have little doubt that it will want to uphold the trial court’s decision allowing a continued ban–just not on the same legal basis as the trial court (which held that Heller does not apply outside the home).Either that or it will hope that something goes up to the Supremes that makes its decision for it. If it does indeed overturn the ban, we should anticipate very loud howls of outrage from Chicago and MAIG.

    • FOID card….I thought that was a joke a few yrs ago when I first read about them at another gun-website…hard to believe that Ill has held out so long. Maybe if Ill goes pro-gun (LOL), and with Wisky doing much better, Maryland and Mass would follow??

      I dont expect Cali to go to the right, but Ill and Wisky would be big.

      r

      • I dont expect Cali to go to the right, but Ill and Wisky would be big.

        If your referring to Wisconsin when you say Wisky, they’ve had open carry for a long time and not too long ago got concealed.

      • It won’t survive the Supreme Court. We just need someone to kick off the lawsuit against the the state. I’m not sure why the NRA-ILA hasn’t tried it yet, but I am new to Illinois and Illinois politics.

  3. Grr! We can’t fuss at Obama and Holder for selectively enforcing only laws they like and applaud these state attorneys for doing the same. We are a nation of laws, not men. You put the power of social change in the hands of a few men (or women) and you have tyranny. Let’s be consistent here.

    • As much as I like the statement from Edwards, I also agree with Rokurota on this. Just because he says he won’t prosecute doesn’t make it any less illegal.

      However….

      If 1.2 million FOID holders started carrying, and well there is no blood baths in the streets, and gosh darn it we might even get a few good DGU’s out of it, then one could use that information to essentially overturn the law. It still doesn’t change the fact that he is simply cherry picking his personal preference, but it would be nice if LEO’s and others stood with him on the idea in principle. This would or could put up the idea to change the state law.

      As much as I don’t agree with not enforcing laws on the books, it is nice to see that there are people out there, in government who get it.

    • Do you voluntarily send the government a $100+ check every time you go above the speed limit? Or do you wait for a cop to selectively enforce the speed limit before you send them a check?

    • Rokurota- I agree with you, but the rules for the game have been set. We either play by the rules, or we get beat. Be the bigger person and all, but you know, sometimes in sports, if the referee of allowing pass interference, then you might as well hit the receiver early, because they’re doing to you.

      • What makes you think there are Rules for the game any more? This country has NOT been under Rule of Law for quite some time now. Don’t believe me? Look at the recent decision that NOBODY will be prosecuted for the MF Global theft of over 2 BILLION dollars.

    • I have a different view of things as far as the law goes. In looking at natural rights I believe there is what is the law and what is illegal.

      For example in various times it was illegal to hide Jews from the Nazis or to serve blacks in the same place you serve whites. While there was a “law” against those acts I believe that those laws went against our natural rights and therefore are not valid. Now people say that a dicatorship is one where the government is not bond by the law and therefore can arbitrarily meet out punishment without clear guidelines on what constitutes the offence and what the punishment is. Think if there was no law against concealed carry but yet some people were arrested and prosecuted while others were not.

      In this case the distric attorney is not trying to arbitrarily punish someone. They are basically saying that the “law” is not valid because it violates a person’s natural right to self defense.

    • I support the concept of “jury nullification” and can see “prosecutor nullification” as an extension. Prosecutors have long had discretion in filing charges.

  4. It looks like the ban would emulate the Chicago & Cook County bans, they would effectively ban all semi-auto magazine fed long guns (and standard capacity magazines) well all of them which could be held with two hands anyways:

    “Semi-automatic assault weapon” means… A semi-automatic rifle [and shotgun] that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has any of the following…A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles the barrel, and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned
    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=09700SB0681gms&GA=97&SessionId=84&DocTypeId=SB&LegID=&DocNum=681&GAID=11&Session=

    • So, could you remove your AR15 handguard and just grip the magazine well? Total troll question, but let’s play semantics…

      • Well no. It also bans most stocks, so you would need to get one of those California U15 stocks. But that doesnt matter because “clones or copies” of the “Colt AR-15” are banned as well. I never knew Colt made a AR-15, I always thought that was Armalite, I knew Colt made a 6920.

        Our ban in most ways is worse than California’s. For instance they can off roster guns if purchased used from a LEO. And high cap mags as parts kits, or if they owned them preban. We can do neither.

        • matt, i believe we can buy off roster handguns from private parties. the purchase has to go through an ffl. that’s why my favorite gun shop has consignment sales. unless the law has changed i don’t think it specifies leo’s.

        • jwm, you would know more than me when it comes to CA gun laws. I thought that was how off roster guns got in to the state.

        • judging by what you’ve said in my time at ttag, matt, i’m going to say that as bad as ca law is you have it worse in ill. i’m still hoping to move out when my wife retires. i still think northern utah or idaho is the place.

        • i’ve been looking at Wisconsin, but its hard enough to find a job in Chicago let alone in WI, that isnt in a big box store, gas station or fast food joint.

          The only real upside to Cook County, is that the ban is for the most part unenforced. Go in to any store, even big box stores, and try to find a pistol that doesnt have a 10+ round magazine. And AR clones are plentiful.

  5. If we can only get a few conservative Governors to basically kick the ATF out of their states and refuse to assist in the prosecution of federal firearm statutes. We would be in good shape. Imagine… Your state basically says supressors are okay and tells the ATF they can kindly leave their offices in such state. One can at least dream.

    • We also need the local Sheriffs to be on board. There are instances where personnel from various federal agencies set out to arrest people and local sheriff deputies — upon orders from their Sheriffs — intervened and sent the federal personnel packing.

      Thus if federal personnel tried to arrest a citizen for nothing other than having a suppressor, that citizen could call 911 (to report an armed assault or kidnapping I guess) and try to hold-off the federal personnel until the deputies arrived.

      • I hate to tell you this, but the local Sheriff’s can be every bit as corrupt as the BATFE. Here in Florida, the Tampa Field Division of the BATFE worked with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, and the Miami-Dade Police Department to run guns to Communist terrorists supporting former President Zelaya in Honduras. Congressman Gus Bilirakis of Tampa got word of this in the middle of LAST summer, and asked for an accounting of the operation. The BATFE was busy shredding files and deleting e-mails for several weekends. And as of today, mid-August OVER ONE YEAR LATER, NOT ONE of those “Law Enforcement” agencies, nor even one “Law Enforcement” officer from those agencies, has been honorable enough to come forward and tell Congressman Bilirakis what he knows. But then I guess what’s a few hundred murdered Hondurans as long as one can cover for one’s Brothers in Blue?

  6. grabbers are off balance and on the ropes nationwide. only compromise if it’s to our real benefit. i know you’re probably tired of me saying it, but the grabbers need to be spanked at the national level in november to really drive the message home.

  7. Philly tried their own gun laws several times and got laid out over it. Chicago will probably keep their restrictions no matter what.

  8. Kudos to the two good men for starting this freedom rebellion in Illinois against the Crook err Cook County elite that dominates state politics. I find it fascinating that as much as the mass media and the anti-gun politicians try to negatively spin guns, gun rights, and gun ownership we are seeing mostly the opposite attitude growing in people. The average America is not buying the biased one-sided messages of the gun grabbers. Forced to choose between the gun grabbers and their extremist regulations and the pro-gun rights community, people are choosing the pro-gun rights community.

  9. If somebody walks around with a TEC-9, he’s an idiot. There are much better firearms designed by George Kellgren (including pistols with a magazine outside of the grip, in much more effective calibers than 9mm) and there are much better firearms designed by other people.

  10. Why are we talking about modifying guns to get around bans?

    Here’s a novel approach: Take that ban and shove it up your keister, Governor Quinn.

    John

  11. I thought the right granted by the US Constitution wast to “bear arms” which I guessed was to actually have a weapon on your person. Doesn’t the IL law forbidding the citizens from doing this violate US law? It seems plain to me but I’m sure any attorneys here will make it complicated. So how is the AG refusing to enforce an illegal law violating the principle of a nation of laws?

    • Based on the spirit of 2A you are correct. However there is also the 10th amendment which gives the States sovereignty. Most States including California have a little statement in their constitutions which give the constitution rule as the highest law. Unfortunately they seem to have lost site of that. Our LEO’s aren’t going to stand around a debate constitutional law.
      Now in the same way Richard had stated above, if the AG decides to make a judgment call, like an outright application of 2A over and above any state laws, it would piss off so many liberals!
      There are a couple of ways this can be achieved. One is through a legislative application of the statute. The second is a state application. Either of these can take place, all be it rare to say the least. The most gun free are states with constitutional carry, which pretty much means you have a right, simple as that.

      • However there is also the 10th amendment which gives the States sovereignty. Most States including California have a little statement in their constitutions which give the constitution rule as the highest law

        The IL constitution limits the right to bear arms:

        SECTION 22. RIGHT TO ARMS
        Subject only to the police power, the right of the
        individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

        The next possible state constitutional convention wont be until 2028, and would require 60% of people to vote for it to happen. And back in 2008 the Illinois State Rifle Association recommended against it.

        http://www2.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/09-22-2008/0004890105&EDATE=

        • Illinois population: 12,870,000
          Chicago: 2,700,00
          Cook County: 5,700,000

          I read the article. It was pre MacDonald (v. Chicago) so there is no way mayor of Chicago could effectively write a gun ban into the state constitution. That said, if he tried, it was be the final straw that rips the state of Illinois in two. I have not lived in Illinois for very long, but I have already heard the unhappy grumbling from Illinosians who hate living in the “defacto state of Chicago.” Chicago is averaging 20 shootings a weekend and Rahm Emmanuel is going after Southern Illinosians guns.

        • It was pre MacDonald (v. Chicago) so there is no way mayor of Chicago could effectively write a gun ban into the state constitution

          They could, and it would take years for the courts to declare it unconstitutional.

          That said, if he tried, it was be the final straw that rips the state of Illinois in two.

          They’ve been trying to make Cook County its own state since 1925, and as recently as last year.

          http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-12-09/chicago-statehood/51773528/1

        • Any state Constitution, or other law which is in violation of the US Constitution is void and “of no consequence”.
          Why go through the formal method of amending the US Constitution if it can be done by a simple state law to the contrary? Read the 10th Amendment a little more closely.

  12. McLean County is home to Illinois State University, not the University of Illinois.

    My GF was very adamant about recognizing that min-, er, error.

    HA HA she says.

    John

    • I was going to say it if nobody else did.

      As a gun owner living in said county, I’m curious to see how this plays out.

  13. Me and the people I work with, in a tool and die shop, your usual shady industrial area… A third of us carry regardles. Someday we will be able to sleep without legal rape nightmares. Please send aid!

  14. I think they should take that deal and stuff it up emanuals poop shoot lol. Chicago already lost its cases in FEDERAL court concerning all this. They have no leg to stand on what so ever.

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