Reader Tony Comella isn’t quite so sanguine about the latest attempt to get a concealed carry bill passed in the Land o’ Lincoln. Here are a few questions he posed for the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Brandon Phelps, on our MyFace page:
I’ve now read SB2193 nearly a dozen times. Each time I read it, I narrowed my objections down to the most important issues I see with the bill. Representative Phelps, please address the following issues and why these items are important to the passage of this bill:
#1. Why do we need to include so many restricted zones? It has been proven, and facts and history indicate that violence is most prevalent in areas designated as “gun free”. Point of fact: criminals do not honor gun free zones, so are we not promoting more violence in these areas? Remember . . .
…and I stand firm on this fact, it is the “prospect” that citizens “may be” armed that serves as the absolute best dissuader. Criminals are cowardly, and don’t want to be confronted by an armed citizen; this fact has been attested to by jailed criminals in various published studies. Also, it seems as no coincidence that areas of the inner cities where crime is at its highest are also restricted, providing no opportunity for law abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families. Example, CTA, public parks, stadiums and events.
#2 Why are the fees so high? The cost of not only the fees, but the cost to acquire training is cost prohibitive to those who need concealed carry the most. It is wholly unreasonable to expect a working man to dedicate the time and associated costs to attaining a CC permit, once again prohibiting those who need this the most.
#3 Why does the bill need to be so administratively “heavy”? It seems that the costs required to fund these various panels and processes are entirely unnecessary, and serve only to increase costs and cause delays in the process. Again, this is not rocket science, and our constitutional rights do not call out the need for such complexity. (as a side note, there are groups that are forming to file litigation against this point).
#4 The approval process is unnecessarily intrusive, and while one would expect a thorough vetting of candidates, much of the information required (especially to address a denial) to submit application is neither necessary nor relevant, and I have concerns that this information will be shared with others that have no reason or need to be privy to same. There are no safeguards in place, and even if there were, the people do not trust that the government will keep this information in complete confidence. (side note 2, the intentional or inadvertent release of this information to unauthorized parties opens up a Pandora’s box of litigation towards the state, especially if it violates HIPPA).
#5 Why does the licensing authority require so much time to issue the permit? This part smacks of impropriety on behalf of the Chicago contingent and Mr. Madigan. From the point of approval, that is after the applicant has meet the very stringent requirements, It will be fully one year until the first permit is issued. This seems like nothing more than a contrived delay, and does nothing more than buy the Chicago contingent more time to work to overturn the bill/law. To this point, of the many people I have discussed the bill with, all agree that this is a transparent attempt to protract the process for the benefit of the Madigans and Chicago/Cook legislators.
Further, I would allege dubious intent, as the bill does not recognize military service or reciprocity with other state CC holders. These last points all but prove that the legislators are resolved to keep CC out of the hands of law abiding citizens until such time that the Chicago contingent get their ducks in a row to overturn any potential CC law in our state. The bill is designed to placate the public, and nothing more. Please prove my assumptions wrong.