Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky File)
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This is TTAG’s weekly roundup of legal and legislative news affecting guns, the gun business and gun owners’ rights. 

Illinois Gun Dealer Oversight Law Challenged

Last January, Illinois governor J. B. Pritzker signed into law a strict licensing regime for the state’s firearm dealers. It required any retailer selling guns in the state to go through a separate state certification process, in addition to the already existing federal licensing regime.

The state also requires owners to install video surveillance equipment, in addition to a litany of state-specific training and security requirements. The state certification costs up to $1,500 for three years. The law took effect last Wednesday.

This week, a group of dealers and the Illinois State Rifle Association brought suit against the state, arguing that the new law imposes an unfair and discriminatory financial burden on business owners. The governor’s office defends the proposal on the grounds that it makes the state safer, invoking terms such as “commonsense.”

While the law is silly and will likely do little more than the lawsuit alleges, the plaintiffs here have a tremendous hill to climb. While law isn’t too terribly developed in the Second Amendment context, when it comes to other exercises of fundamental rights, the courts have been far more lenient when it comes to restrictions on businesses. It’s not often that a federal court even entertains, much less vindicates, the rights of businesses.

John Boch for TTAG

Illinois Heavy on Dealers, Looser on Carry

Despite the previously mentioned clampdown on dealers in the state. Pritzker signed a law resetting the clock on existing concealed carry permits in the state, and relaxing some red tape standing between Illinois residents and their Firearm Owner Identification Cards.

The law also exempts a specific shooting complex from the aforementioned heightened requirements of dealers, a fascinating exercise in corporate welfare. If the requirements are too burdensome for the state-owned World Shooting Complex at Sparta, why should it apply to apply to Maxon Shooters Supplies in Des Plaines or Metro Shooting Supplies in Belleville?

The law also loosens restrictions on current and former police and military in carrying firearms.

American Academy of Pediatrics

Study Posits Children Safer in States With Tough Gun Laws

Last Monday, the journal “Pediatrics” released a study that purported to find a reduced likelihood of risk to a child being killed by a firearm in states with tougher gun laws. Multiple outlets have reported on the “findings” this week, chomping at the bit to announce support that stricter gun las save lives.

One group asked me to comment on the new study ahead of its publication. There are a few problems most reports seem to glaze over.

For one, it’s very “black box,” the study is vague about its inputs and, despite using yearly data, only presents itself as a 5-year trend. This obfuscates the regular ebb and flow of data related to something as rare as childhood mortality.

Further, the study presents its likelihood of death in terms of “x per 100,000 U.S. Children,” an intentionally misleading and inflationary metric that seems designed to confuse with “x per 100,000 Americans,” a much more commonly used metric within and without pediatrics.

Most importantly, and most suspiciously, the study uses data that suggests its own conclusion. A state’s mortality rate is juxtaposed with the score given the state by the Brady Campaign, which, need I remind, was originally called “The National Council to Control Handguns.” Not only is a subjective rating by an anti-gun organization not an actual metric, it would be the understatement of the century to say it might be a little biased.

That said, expect to hear this study quoted. A lot.

Phil Murphy gun control new jersey gun control
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

NJ Gun Control Package

On Tuesday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a gun control package with a stunning, inspired name: “Gun Safety Package 2.0.” The governor chose a high school as the venue for signing the law, because of course he did.

The “commonsense” package includes a “smart gun” bill, requiring that any approved model be available for sale by dealers in the state; a law expanding the list of crimes that disqualify New Jersians from gun ownership, and also makes it illegal to own a firearm without a serial number (a shame for any collectors of historical European arms in New Jersey); a law making it a crime for a “disqualified person” to solicit a transfer of a firearm; and a law requiring the state to establish a suicide prevention class, and force gun dealers to hand out related pamphlets.

The biggest move here is the “smart gun” bill. It will effectively create a captive market for the first company to get a gun approved by the state’s “smart gun” board. The dealers of the state will be at the mercy of that company to pay whatever price imaginable. Why bother making your product affordable when every dealer has to stock them?

high capacity magazine ban vermont

Vermont’s Supreme Court Asked to Weigh in on HiCap Ban

The Vermont Supreme Court has been asked to review constitutional questions arising out the state’s “high capacity” magazine ban. Max Misch was charged with two counts of possessing illegal magazines, and is now working his way through Vermont’s state court system.

This type of litigation is exciting for a number of reasons. For one, a state supreme court isn’t required to defer to federal case law when interpreting the right to bear arms under their state constitution. This is also frightening, for obvious reasons.

Given the diverse makeup of state supreme courts, and SCOTUS’ reticence in the Second Amendment context, this breed of action might be a great way to develop the body of law. State decisions can be used as persuasive authority in Federal Court, as they were in determining the “militia” clause of the Second Amendment to be perfunctory.

new zealand gun buyback
Police acting superintendent Mike McIlraith shows New Zealand lawmakers in Wellington, New Zealand, an AR-15 style rifle similar to one of the weapons a gunman used to slaughter 50 people at two mosques. New Zealand’s new gun laws have been signed into law and now ban military-style weapons, just one day after the nation’s parliament overwhelmingly approved legislation to outlaw them less than a month after a man used such guns to kill 50 worshippers at two mosques. (AP Photo/Nick Perry, File)

New Zealand’s Buyback

This week was the first of a series of “buyback events” in New Zealand. Over 900 registered to relinquish their arms, but only about 200 showed up to “voluntarily” relinquish their firearms. One issue, though, was that when gun owners realized, and were unsatisfied with, the price being offered by their government, they were not allowed to leave. Shocking, that.

New Zealand has a fascinating history with gun control, which Dean Weingarten at Ammoland did a nice write-up on here. Definitely worth a read.


In Pennsylvania, A Conviction Alone is Not Enough

To say we have an over-criminalization problem in the United States is one of many understatements that color our legal landscape. In the US, you can face over a year in the clink for such things as fibbing in the mail, catching a lobster that’s a bit too small, or even mis-handling your prescriptions. But what do these have to do with the ability to safely handle a firearm?

That’s a question the Pennsylvania Supreme Court just weighed in on. In November of 2013, Richard Navarro pled guilty to two first-degree misdemeanor counts of forgery. He then requested to have a stolen firearm returned to him in 2016, but was denied after failing a NICS check.

This is where things get complicated. Federal law bars anyone from receiving a firearm if they have been convinced of a crime punishable by more than one year in jail, which Navarro was. However, federal law only applies to firearms used in interstate commerce.

This is one of the last remaining vestiges of the Constitutional system expressly intended to prevent a massive body of federal law. The feds need a legitimate source of Constitutional power to regulate in any area, and they most often go to the “commerce clause” for this.

If the item hasn’t moved in interstate commerce, technically, the feds can’t touch it under the commerce clause. Since the Gun Control Ac of 1968 was passed pursuant to the Commerce power, that holds here. The Judge rightly found that the government must prove that the firearm moved in interstate commerce before applying 922(g).

While this might not save Navarro (unless the arm is a rare made-in-PA model that never left the state), it shows the judiciary is here taking the proposition that the federal goernment’s powers are “few and defined” seriously.

gun safe handgun storage
Courtesy Amazon

San Diego Safe Storage

On Monday, the San Diego City Council approved a safe storage provision requiring gun owners in the city to keep their firearms in state-approved lockboxes, except when the owner is actually handling the firearm. Violating the ordinance carries a penalty of up to six months in jail, and a $1,000 fine.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Firearms are tools for self-defense. Their use situations are those in which human lives hang in the balance. An inaccessible firearm is more of a financial asset than it is a useful tool. This isn’t to say guns shouldn’t be secured – far from it. But rather that the individual is better suited to weigh the costs and benefits of firearm accessibility than a City Council.

Further, being that these laws relate to arms kept in homes, we know that enforcement will most likely only occur in communities with higher police presence. These laws are more likely to result in the harassment of disadvantaged communities than any tangible public safety benefit.

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      • It would work a hell of a lot better if people actually lived by it.

        Slow capitulation through the legislature and courts won’t restore the exercise of the actual unalienable individual right to keep and bear arms; not in your lifetime, not in a hundred lifetimes. Force is the only thing that truly protects your rights.

      • My point exactly the Constitution and Bill of Rights are the supreme law of the land why are the state’s allowed to infringed.they do it because the scotus is a gutless body globalists

    • “Why bother making your product affordable when every dealer has to stock them?”

      It doesn’t seem to say what you can charge for them so I’d stock ONE and price it at 15,000. Compliance, check. Don’t care if the brick sells, think of it as another (illegal) compliance tax, like the ACA. Instead of being forced to carry health insurance, forced to stock an item. See, there it is, I have one in stock and available for purchase.


  1. Lord I hate ILLinois…BTW it’s “scheme” NOT regime. Just another dim $ generating scam(because “gunz”)😫

  2. “I will not comply!” If everyone would say that and mean it the government couldn’t do a damn thing. First, they would have to build an ass load of new prisons to put us all in. And hire correctional officers and pay for all the other support required to house a person. That’s expensive. Second, the government would be removing millions of employed, productive citizens from the economy. Want guess what that would do to the GNP?

    • “First, they would have to build an ass load of new prisons to put us all in.”

      Nope, it will all be done via an administrative process. But you will have felony record for the rest of your life…

      • Geoff, what “administrative process?” And a felony conviction? I’m shaking in my boots. Well, sandals. It is July. Besides, the end result would be the same. For most well paid professionals a felony conviction means loss of employment. And the subsequent crippling of the economy. That is if the millions of firearms owners we always talk about really have the balls to say. “I will not comply!” And mean it. Sounds like a bunch of Kiwis mean it. Question is; do we have their stones?

        • So I don’t pretend to speak for Geoff here but he hasn’t come back.

          Here’s the example I would give you: The 1937 Marihuana Tax Stamp Act.

          Long story rather short: The government passes a law that says that in order to possess marijuana (they spelled it with an H) you have to have a Tax Stamp. At the time lots of farmers grow the stuff because the stems are made into hemp fibers and spun into rope because synthetic ropes aren’t really a thing yet.

          So you get this law. The government puts out the word that farmers have two choices. 1) Ignore the law and if busted be prosecuted to the full extent of it (felonies). Or bring in a sample of their plants to be examined at various locations and receive a stamp. However, the government doesn’t print any stamps and has no interest in ever doing so.

          So, what happens is farmers show up with a sample and end up taken into custody for possession without a stamp. They’re offered a choice. Pay a fine or go to court on federal charges. The fine is just an “administrative” thing they’re told. However, it’s not. They treat it in a similar manner to an NJP. You can take the NJP and have the record or you can request a court martial. They lie to people to get them to avoid the trial because this is really rather obvious entrapment. Most people who bring in the samples and get busted take this option without realizing the consequences.

          In effect they’re told to pay a small fine and sign a document that they won’t talk to other farmers who haven’t yet fallen into this trap. However paying the fine is effectively a “guilty plea”, similar to just taking an NJP under the UCMJ. You just admitted to wrongdoing under the law. You now have a record. A felony record at the federal level.

          Ultimately it’s a big “fuck you, we’ve got the power” move. Your only option is that if someone who got busted trying to get a stamp tells you what happened then you can burn your crops and take the loss. Other than that you run the risk of getting busted or ending up trying to follow the law and getting busted. You can’t win and that’s by design.

          Of course this all goes out the window in the 1940’s when the government desperately needs rope for the war effort.

          I suspect that’s the kind of road Geoff is alluding to. But again, I don’t speak for the guy so maybe he’s thinking of something else.

      • BTW, John Wick is a fictional Hollywood character. I don’t really know what Keneau Reeves political slant is, I have larger concerns, but if his politics are in line with his contemporaries he’s probably anti-2A. I could be wrong though. Been a while since I bought a copy of the National Enquirer.

    • “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””“I will not comply!” If everyone would say that and mean it the government couldn’t do a damn thing. First, they would have to build an ass load of new prisons to put us all in. And hire correctional officers and pay for all the other support required to house a person. That’s expensive. Second, the government would be removing millions of employed, productive citizens from the economy. Want guess what that would do to the GNP?””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

      The real world does not work like that and never has. People look out for No.1 and that means complying with the law and as the Nazi’s used to say “you will comply or else” and everyone knew what “”or else meant”. In our own country of Capitalvania you would undergo a “David Koresh Moment” where storm troopers would run a tank through your house and then light it on fire and then claim they did not do it , you did as a last act of defiance. None of the gullible public ever questioned the validity of the governments statements because they did not want to. They were in agreement that it was a good thing that a religious cult that was heavily armed with modern weapons should be liquidated because their church was not BATF approved.

      • You are a fake Vlad Tepes, living in a fake real world. I am the real, true, original Vlad Tepes, living in a drug induced haze. Alcohol prohibition and the war on drugs prove the government is just like my mommy. When the government says no and my mommy says no everybody in the whole country says sorry and stops being bad. When Kameltow Harris is erected she will get some executive action and there will be a big pile of 400million guns on the White House lawn.

  3. My favorite thing about Illinois is that so many years have gone by since last I was in that State, I cannot recall which year it was.

    Odd, the saying goes that “Distance makes the heart grow fonder”. Only in this case, not so much eh?

    • Relative to states like Illinois, Californica to name a few, that “distance makes the heart grow fonder”
      of the place I hang my hat now!

  4. So, I got my CC in Illinois in 2015. Due to renew in 2020. With the new law about a 10 year term for CC permits, do I still need to renew in 2020?

    • From the article:
      “and that he stay at least 300 feet away from Morris and her husband, James Lawton.”

      Since the State admits that he didn’t commit a crime related to Morris, why in the hell would that be in the bail conditions?!?!

  5. As I commented yesterday I’m currently in New Zealand for a couple of months and have been doing a bit of shooting / hunting with locals.

    No one I’ve met yet likes the gun grab.

    So far on the north island which is 77% of the population they’ve got 68 guns from 3 750 000 people. Not a great success rate.

    • I can imagine that the compliance/turn in rate will only go down, now that gun owners know they won’t be fairly compensated, and have no option to refuse and seek redress in the courts.

      There’s no way that I’d show up with a firearm unless I knew, ahead of time, exactly how much I’d be compensated.

      • There is no way I’d show up to turn in my guns, period.

        NZ and US govt can shove their “buyback” right up their a$$.

  6. Funny, isn’t it how the people keep electing these anti constitutional/ anti civil rights types to office, or isn’t it “funny”.

    • You CAN’T fix stupid…but you can kill it. I didn’t vote these scum into office. Idiot’s from Chiraq with their hands out did…

  7. Unfortunately, the Commerce Clause has been used to justify just about everything the federal government has wanted to do. The original case, in the 1930s, involved a farmer who grew some wheat to feed the cattle he raised. Not only did the wheat not leave his state, it was never offered for sale and never left his property. At the time, there were federal restrictions on the amount of wheat grown to prop up prices by limiting supply. The Supreme Court ruled that the commerce clause applied because, had the farmer not grown his grain, he would have bought some from out of state. It’s equally true that, if your mother had wheels, she would be a bicycle.

  8. That is some of the dumbest reasoning I’ve ever heard! They actually the crap will keep criminals from getting guns? And if it designed to catch shooters after the fact they have identified themselves by the shooting.

  9. The pictures of Shaneen Allen and Carol Bowne and what happened to them should be on billboards all over the state of New Jersey. Yes it would cost $$$. But what better message could you send to the voters and the elected tyrants of New Jersey?

    If you don’t want to be slaves, New Jersey residents, like those people in New Zealand are now, I suggest you start a GoFundMe campaign and have people donate to the cost of putting up the Billboards.

    That’s just my two cents.

    If you want more start the GoFundMe and I’ll donate. It’s better than giving money to the NRA.

    • I think the problem is about 60% of NJ residents DO want to be slaves. Sadly, they are super keen on having someone in “authority” tell them what to do.

  10. More kids die by drowning in a pool every year than from a gun. One died in my small neighbor hood a few weeks ago.

  11. Quote -==========================I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Firearms are tools for self-defense. Their use situations are those in which human lives hang in the balance. An inaccessible firearm is more of a financial asset than it is a useful tool. This isn’t to say guns shouldn’t be secured – far from it. But rather that the individual is better suited to weigh the costs and benefits of firearm accessibility than a City Council.============================

    Try telling that rectum gas to the 1,300 grieving parents each year whose kids get their brains blown out because they were shiftless and irresponsible parents who did not keep deadly weapons locked up. The bullshit that one does not have access to such a firearm is just pure bullshit along with full blown paranoia that has no sane justification as many safes have push buttons and or keys that let one get out a gun in less than a second. I know I did it for well over 20 years when I had kids in the house so no one can bullshit me otherwise.

    I might add the law stated that you could also legally have the gun on your person if it was a situation that you felt was serious.

    • This is another, different, fake Vlad Tepes, who uses bad words. I am the original Vlad Tepes and I can prove it.
      1) I make things up and I lie about everything
      2) I do not know the difference between causal relationships and casual relationships and neither does my mommy.
      3) I hate my mommy
      The San Diego city council has shown us the shining path to the future. Lying and making up nonsensical reasons to justify turning law abiding citizens into criminals is how socialist utopias are made. Substituting a faceless bureaucrat’s judgement for each individual citizen’s judgement is how we will all become equal.

        • It would appear that that moniker has been retired. Kind of like the kid of crisco, whose name is not allowed to be posted. The amount of verbotten subjects grows longer with each passing day…

        • Apparently not. There’s been a slew of fresh posts from pg2/Pg2 today (July 22). Seems like one of them might be the “real” one, and the other is a troll (perhaps *the* troll?) driving him insane. Kinda fun to watch.

          Still wondering if the troll persona is the same one who’s been punking Vlad and doing the same thing to him.

          All of this sort of activity was abated for a few days after the meltdown/scandal, but it’s back.


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