By John Boch
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart would be a petty, tyrannical dictator if given half a chance. Fortunately for the good people of Illinois, our government doesn’t allow this – and Tom Dart isn’t a happy lil’ wanna-be authoritarian. What is all the hubbub about? Dart wants to use Illinois’ LEADS system – basically “Google” for law enforcement – to search the background of every applicant for an Illinois concealed carry license for *anything* in their background – and we mean anything – and use that information to file an objection to issuing the permit . . .
And he’s not just worried about current Cook County residents. No, he wants to run a search on anyone who has lived there at any time in the past ten years.
- Got a traffic ticket or three? He’ll protest.
- An arrest where charges were later dismissed? He’ll protest.
- A DUI from twenty or thirty years ago? He’ll protest.
- Your spouse file for an order of protection against you when you got divorced at her lawyer’s request? Even if it was denied, Dart will protest your application.
- Underage drinking ticket when you were at SIU Carbondale in the 1970s? He’ll protest.
The Illinois State Police put a kibosh on Dart’s plans by announcing that police agencies (like Dart’s) can’t use LEADS to file objections. They must use their own, internal department records and databases to ascertain if there is an issue that might serve as a basis to file an objection to an applicant holding a carry license. That was the intent of the sponsor of the legislation (written by Michael Madigan, if you didn’t already know that).
Dart is livid about the restriction. His whining temper tantrum has hit the Chicago media in recent days with headlines like:
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart Slams Illinois Concealed Carry Law As A ‘Monstrosity’ – Huffington Post
Sheriff: Concealed carry process ‘fraught with problems and holes’ – Chicago Tribune
Sheriff Dart slams restrictions on concealed-carry background checks – Chicago Sun-Times
Sheriff Tom Dart rails against ‘horrifically unworkable’ concealed-carry law – Chicago Sun-Times
Concealed Carry Background Check System “Horrifically Unworkable,” Sheriff Says – Evanston Patch
In a nutshell, Dart – on his own – is trying to turn Illinois’ “shall issue” carry law into a “may issue” law by burying the new Illinois concealed carry appeals board with an tsunami of objections that the panel will never be able to wade through, effectively denying those applicants their permits.
He’s also threatening to go to the courts to seek an injunction against implementation of Illinois’ new carry law until unless would-be dictators like himself are allowed a chance to turn the new law into a “may issue” system where only Dart’s buddies can get a permit.
In case you’d forgotten, Chicago, Cook County’s largest city, had over 530 homicides last year. Yeah, the city with strict gun registration, gun bans and precious few (legal) gun owners.
Meanwhile, an hour west of Chicago lies Aurora, Illinois’ second largest city. A city without strict handgun laws, gun registration or any of that good stuff. Wanna take a guess how many homicides that city had last year?
Florida has over one million active carry permits – which are relatively unrestricted compared to Illinois’ law – and they had the lowest firearm-related violent crime rate in that state’s history last year.
This stuff isn’t rocket science. Regulating guns out of the hands of law-abiding people doesn’t lead to safer streets for innocent, everyday residents. It only emboldens bad guys to ply their trade as they know their victims will almost assuredly be unarmed and helpless.
It seems as though Tom Dart puts more effort into keeping the overwhelming law-abiding segment of his citizenry unarmed and helpless, while ignoring the rampant violent criminals prowling the streets in his jurisdiction. Only a truly low-information voter could appreciate and support that faulty sense of priorities.
Also, we’re thinking someone should send Tom a comb for Christmas.
John Boch is president of Guns Save Life. This article originally appeared at gunssavelife.com and is reprinted here with permission.