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Sometime this summer, The U.S. Supreme Court will strike down Chicago’s handgun ban. While the Highest Court in the Land’s™ ruling on the McDonald v. Chicago case will likely leave a bit of wiggle room for state and local firearms restrictions, The Windy City’s gun control laws will have the wind knocked out of their sails (leading to lots of gun sales). In the run up to that event, prior to the legislature’s May 7th HFTH (Head For The Hills) deadline, the Illinois state legislature is trying to ram through as much gun control legislation as it can. To wit (provided and summarized by the duh duh DUH National Rifle Association):

House Bill 180, introduced by State Representative Deborah Graham (D-78), would establish a state-based licensing scheme for Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders that sell handguns.

House Bill 5480, introduced by State Representative Harry Osterman (D-14), would outlaw most private transfers of handguns and require the transfers to be processed through an FFL.

House Bill 5495, introduced by State Representative William Burns (D-26), would prohibit law-abiding citizens from purchasing more than one handgun in a 30-day period.

House Bill 5751, introduced by State Representative Edward Acevedo (D-2), was voted out of the House Executive Committee this week, and is now on the floor. This bill if passed would ban countless semi-automatic handguns, rifles, and shotguns, many parts for the same, as well as .50 cal. rifles and ammunition.

House Bill 5849, introduced by State Representative Harry Osterman (D-14), would overturn last year’s Illinois Supreme Court ruling that held the storage boxes built into vehicles qualified for storing unloaded firearms for lawful transportation under Illinois law. This bill would change the law to make it more difficult to lawfully transport unloaded firearms.

House Bill 6123, introduced by State Representative Osterman (D-14), would create a confusing new felony offense for “knowingly” supplying a “street gang member” with a firearm. A “street gang member” is defined in the Illinois Streetgang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act. This legislation is undoubtedly intended to capitalize on the fears the general public has for words like “street gang” and “terrorism.”

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  1. What confuses me is that there are so many gun manufacturers in Illinois. Former Gov. Blago did his best (when he wasn't busy trying to sell Obama's Senate seat) to drive them out of the state – tax base and all. How are these bills that different? You'd think in a time where every tax dollar counts, the Illinois Legislature would have a couple of other things on their minds other than gun control.

  2. I don’t know, it’s hard for me to feel much sympathy for shooters/gun owners in gun-control states like Il. After all, the legislators that drafted and voted in these laws were not installed by a coup, they were put there by the voters of that state. As much as I disagree with the laws, I certainly support the right of the states to pass whatever laws they think are neccessary to combat crime (within the strictures of the Constitution, of course.)

    If you read the Federalist papers, it’s clear that the founders of our Constitutional form of government intended that laws be different in each state, so that the states could function as “laboratories of democracy.” In the case of broke, crime-ridden states like Illinois, I’d call it a failed experiment but an illustrative one nevertheless.

  3. There are Two (2) States of Illinois.

    Really, ya gotta live here awhile to fully appreciate that fact.

    There’s Chicago, IL. That’s run by the Daley political machine of graft and corruption. Its power is complete and its deceit is total. It controls who gets elected to office in the city and in Springfield. Last big ol’ election we had here in the U.S., it even got its guy elected president.

    They own the votes in Chicago (and will create votes outta thin air, if they don’t have enough), and Chicago trumps the other Illinois.

    The other Illinois is everything outside Cook and the collar counties. So go west past Rockford, you’re in the “other” Illinois. Go south past Joliet and you’ve hit the “other” Illinois.

    The northern counties feel like Wisconsin. Out west, Iowa and Missouri. South, Kentucky. East, Indiana.

    In essence, the Illinois outside of Chicago feels like the rest of the Mississippi valley Midwest. They vote like it, too.

    But alas, they are not enough to overpower the Chicago machine — and haven’t been for decades.

    Daley and his cronies control this state, its officials, and its legislation. Period.

    The “downstaters” did have a little power when the Olympics were in play, however. See, Daley wanted those something awful, and was willing to mortgage the state’s future to get them (not that we’re not flat-broke now). But he needed the “other” Illinois to back his tax-and-spend promises to woo the Olympic committee to Chicago.

    The downstaters said, “Sure, Mr Mayor. Now, if you’d be so kind as to sit down and discuss with us CCW and other gun rights, we might be able to get you all the votes you need to fund your Olympic games.”

    But when the Olympics went south (literally), and the Supremes said nada to the city’s gun laws, the Daley machine is now doing all it can to ram (Rahm?) through whatever gun control measures it can, while it can.

  4. Monte: There’s nothing special about Illinois, lots of states could say the same thing. Nevada? Most of the population lives in Vegas and Reno and can tell the rest of the state to pound sand. Washington? Same thing for the Olympia-Tacoma-Seattle corridor – you think the folks in Yakima or Richland have much of a political voice? Even here in Colorado the vast majority of the population lives in a corrodor about 30 miles wide and 150 miles north to south.

    But so what? It’s always been like that in states with big cities on the one hand and smaller, more dispersed rural populations on the other. The “downstaters” are either in agreement with most of the Chicago-driven policies or are at least not so opposed to them that they’ll do anything about it. After all, they’re not 3rd world tribesmen, stuck in a refugee camp and they’re not medieval serfs who have to ask their master’s permission to leave the estate. They can work to support candidates who will enact different laws, try to influence the current crop of lawmakers, or, as a last resort, they can vote with their feet and move to another state that respects their views.

    The truth is that gun laws just don’t matter to most Americans, and that includes most gun-owning Americans. Unless a law affects them directly (and maybe not even then) most people are happy to go along to get along, in Illinois and pretty much everywhere else, too.

  5. All good points, Martin.

    But the one difference about Illinois…it has the most corrupt, inbred political system this side of Louisiana. Many rate it worse.

    It’s not just the population of the city of Chicago that lets the liberal urbanites on one hand (and the welfare handout-seekers on the other) dictate to the rest of the state what happens and who does it.

    The Daley political machine — from the current mayor, back to his father — make it impossible for the average law-abiding citizenry to win by the rules. Because the Daley Democratic Machine makes the rules. Changes the rules. Fakes the rules. Whatever it takes to win.

    No, those opposed to Daley’s policies and people aren’t third-world tribesmen, but if you’re an outsider, you may as well be. This is one state where there ain’t no fighting City Hall.

    You gotta understand, there are no candidates of opposing views that get very far here. In the end, it’s the same names on the ballot, year after year. Everyone knows they’re crooks and cheats. But in Illinois, you know who greases their skids. These are not the kind of people you wanna throw down against.

    Ask yourself: Is gun control here really, truly about stopping black-on-black violence? About stopping gang shootings? About protecting neighborhoods where the residents will not turn in the shooters to the po-po, even if that shooter shot your kid?

    Cuz they’ve tried it gun control here. Doesn’t work. In fact, it’s gotten far worse. But that’s not stopping the machine. In fact, they’re desperately trying to jam more through now.

    So — who doesn’t want an armed citizenry in Illinois? Who is afraid here is afraid of well-armed, law-abiding people?

    Trust me, gun control in Illinois is not because Daley is a do-good, soft-hearted, protect the defenseless kind of guy. And neither are his very powerful, shadowy friends.

    And that, right there, is part of the answer of the who, what, and why in Illinois.


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