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Charles Dickens wrote the classic novel “A Tale of Two Cities” in 1859. Today, the politicians in Wisconsin and Illinois are setting the storyline for the real-life story “A Tale of Two States” – at least where it comes to active-duty members of the U.S. military stationed in their respective states. On the one hand, there has been nearly unanimous support from both parties in Wisconsin for allowing non-resident active-duty military members the right to get a carry license in the Badger State . . .

Assembly approves bill allowing soldiers to carry concealed

MADISON, Wis. (WISC TV June 9) – The Assembly approved two bills dealing with concealed carry Tuesday.

Active members of the military stationed in Wisconsin could carry a concealed weapon under a bill the state Assembly has overwhelmingly approved.

Right now, the state Department of Justice can’t issue a license to carry concealed to anyone who isn’t a Wisconsin resident. Under the Republican bill, any applicant who is a member of the armed forces and is stationed in Wisconsin for at least a year would be eligible for a license.

The Assembly passed the bill 91-8 on Tuesday. It goes next to the state Senate.

While Wisconsin is moving forward with nearly unanimous bi-partisan support for their measure, Illinois Senate Democrats have an entirely different view. Illinois’ Senate President John Cullerton has been quite staunchly opposed to extending gun rights to active-duty military members from 49 other states stationed in Illinois.

In fact, he’s been quite an obstacle for anything even remotely pro-gun. During this entire spring session, the only pro-gun bill Cullerton allowed to receive a committee hearing was a technical “clean up” bill to fix some minor issues in the Prairie State’s two-year-old concealed carry law. We believe the primary reason the technical clean up bill saw the light of day was that a couple of Democrat Senators were going to face even tougher re-election campaigns in 2016 without some of its provisions.

Guns Save Life has friends everywhere, and we were sent the legislative summary and text of that proposed “clean up bill” before it was made public.  It was exactly as it went to Senate President John Cullerton for his blessing.  That original proposal would have allowed non-resident active-duty American servicemen stationed to Illinois to get an Illinois concealed carry license.

Note the HB3381 inclusion in the legislative summary.


And here is the text that would have allowed America’s active-duty military members assigned to Illinois to apply for and receive a concealed carry license.


Here is the pdf of the original legislative proposal.  This is something that most Illinois Senate Democrats would rather you didn’t know about.

It’s true.  Illinois’ Democrat Senate President John Cullerton struck that provision for our servicemen out of that final draft.

Here is a link to text of the bill as passed.  And here is its history and status.

It was formally sent to the governor for his signature June 29th.  Gov. Rauner is expected to sign it.

What can you do?
Are you irritated with Illinois Senate President John Cullerton and Illinois Democrat Senators who claim to support the men and women of our armed forces, yet stab them in the back and treat them as second-class citizens behind closed doors?

These same Democrats are quick to get in front of a camera and shout for equal rights for gays in support of same sex marriage, but they are strangely silent when it comes to equal rights for our troops.

Our servicemen and women are victims of violent crime outside of their work, just like other everyday Americans.  They deserve better than to be treated like second class citizens.

Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.  Shine the light of truth on their duplicitous actions, depriving our heroes of the ability to defend themselves and their families with the proven benefits of concealed carry.

Here are a couple of letters you can feel free to borrow from.

Illinois Senate Democrats have been some of the loudest voices in support of equal rights for homosexuals and support for same sex marriage.  At the same time, these same Senate Democrats continue to treat America’s servicemen and women as second class citizens by denying them the right to receive a concealed carry license in Illinois.

That’s right: Illinois Senate President John Cullerton stripped out language in a recent concealed carry clean up bill, SB836, that would have allowed armed forces members who are residents of other states to receive a concealed carry license in Illinois while stationed here.  What’s worse, his fellow Senate Democrats sat by, did nothing and allowed this to happen.  How shameful.

Wisconsin’s House just approved similar legislation by a nearly unanimous margin – with both parties solidly behind the proposal.  Sadly, support for our troops and their families was lagging in the Illinois Senate.

Call your Senator today.  Tell him our servicemen and women deserve better than to be treated like second class citizens.

Letter #2:

I’m disappointed with my Illinois Democrat State Senator XXXX  XXXXXX.

I recently learned that Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat machine politician, stripped out a provision that would have allowed U.S. Armed Forces members stationed in Illinois to receive an Illinois concealed carry license.  Our local senator did nothing to stop this.  I find Senator XXXXXX’s unwillingness to go to bat for the brave men and women in our military to be appalling.

The bill (SB836), which has since passed the Illinois General Assembly by an overwhelming margin, is expected to be signed by the governor any day now.

I find it despicable that our Armed Forces members would be treated as second class citizens in my state.

We as good Americans are supposed to support our troops, not force them to remain defenseless outside of their bases.

If we can afford equal rights to same sex couples, then surely we can extend equal rights for our brave military members when it comes to protecting themselves and their families.

Working together, we can force the Illinois Senate Democrats to extend their equal rights campaign to our armed services members, or shame them with the electorate as indifferent to our troops.

This post originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission. 

[h/t Ripcord]

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  1. Illinois senate treats Illinois residents like second class citizens-FIFY. From an Illinois resident too…why would they give a damn about soldiers?

  2. While well intentioned, giving concealed carry rights to most servicemembers is not the State’s decision. Most troops live on base where concealed carry is not allowed and weapons must be stored in the armory where they are not available for daily carry. A concealed carry law for servicemen will result in increased arrests for weapon possession on bases, more NJPs / Article 15s, more angry commanders and worse civilian to military relations.

    • While well intentioned, giving concealed carry rights to most servicemembers is not the State’s decision. Most troops live on base where concealed carry is not allowed and weapons must be stored in the armory where they are not available for daily carry.

      This part of your post is (mostly) true (my base lets you store your guns in your home, if you live in family housing). The rest is pure bullshit. This doesn’t happen in states where CCW for non-residents and military is already a thing and has been a thing for some time now.

    • Only the soldiers that live in the barracks would have to store their weapons in the arms room. Soldiers that live in quarters or in off base housing would still have the ability to keep their firearms at their homes. All of these soldiers would have to store the weapons safely in their vehicles by the required method when on post to avoid the charges that you discussed.

    • The suggested “problem” — increased arrests for carrying a firearm on base — does not seem to be occurring here in Virginia, where any service member permanently assigned to a duty station in the Commonwealth or to the Pentagon (which is physically in Virginia, but has a District of Columbia address for purposes of duty station location) may apply for a permit to carry a concealed firearm.

    • Not true. Most military members above the rank of E5 live off-base. E5 (NCOs) and above, make up the majority in the USAF. Things have changed with regards to base housing. You may now store weapons in your base residential housing. Additionally, there is base housing off-post and not under any base restrictions with regards to concealed carry. Finally, since you are now allowed to store weapons in base housing, you fall under local laws for transport of firearms. You may drive off base with you weapon in an case (unloaded) and then immediately conceal your loaded weapon on your body once outside the gate.

      There is no reason why a military member should have less access to self-defense than any other resident of Illinois. Being a military member doesn’t afford you any additional protection against crime in the local community; in fact, being associated with the military can make you a target for terrorism.

  3. By second class citizens, do you mean like everyone else who doesn’t work for the government?

  4. As far as I’m concerned we are all second class citizens when it comes to the 2nd amendment in communist states. As for Wisconsin, they recognize half a dozen popular non-resident and resident permits already, I would just get a non-resident permit from a state with a quick turn around time (like VA, WI recognizes VA’s non-resident permit only though). Its trivial compared to civilians who can’t get permits at all in NJ, MD, NY, etc. but I would certainly hope they address it. I know Kansas had this issue before they worked out their permit system (now they are unrestricted!). Hopefully my home state of Wisco goes constitutional carry soon, that was the original plan but Walker wouldn’t sign it.

    • use of unnecessary violence in the apprehension of the blues brothers HAS been approved

  5. They willingly sign up to take the orders to kill and to die by the very same slave masters they bemoan.

    • Shhhhhhhh…

      You’ll make their puny heads explode with that logical conundrum.

    • Great Lakes Naval Station. I think maybe it’s called North Chicago NS now. It’s where the Navy has boot camp.

      • Scott AFB, too, and formerly Chanute AFB, which was closed on 30 September 1993, ending its reign as USAF’s third oldest active base and oldest Technical Training Center. When I was active USAF in the 70s-90s, Chanute was a huge presence in USAF’s Air Training Command.

        According to Wikipedia, “Scott Air Force Base is home to the headquarters of many major military organizations, including:

        United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM)
        United States Army Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC)
        Air Mobility Command (AMC)
        Eighteenth Air Force (18 AF)
        635th Supply Chain Operations Wing (635 SCOW)
        Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization (DITCO)
        Defense Information Systems Agency, Continental United States (DISA CONUS)
        Air Force Network Integration Center (AFNIC) * formerly the Air Force Communications Agency (AFCA)

        The 375th Air Mobility Wing is the host to more than 30 tenant units, including the Air Force Office of Special Investigations 3rd Field Investigations Region, the 932d Airlift Wing (Air Force Reserve Command), the 126th Air Refueling Wing (Illinois Air National Guard), and the 3rd Manpower Requirements Squadron (Air Force Manpower Agency).”

        12,000+ people at Scott AFB. Most states would LOVE to have a Federal facility of this size pouring money into the local economy.

  6. No special rights for government employees. If a productive citizen who is a “non resident” won’t be issued a license, then a government employee who is a “non resident” should not be either. We also need to repeal any laws that give cops or retired cops special rights that productive citizens are denied.

    • The locals CHOSE their libtard gov’t. You sent (forced) the troop to live there bonehead.

  7. As a resident of Illinois, I really appreciate you covering this. We are battling on several levels here for increased 2A rights, and Cullerton is not the only enemy.

    Cullerton, House majority leader Madigan, and his daughter, State Attorney General Lisa Madigan, are all enemies of 2A who they take turns striking anything down/making threats.

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