Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Folly of More Restrictions for the Illinois Concealed Carry Law

















Illinois was the only state in the country without a concealed carry law until the U.S Court of Appeals in Chicago finally stated that this was a violation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Nevertheless, Illinois legislators are now proposing even more restrictions to the Concealed Carry Law (HB 0183) that was signed on July 9, 2013 and went into effect earlier this year.

Illinois concealed carry is already illegal in schools, colleges, universities, health care facilities, public transportation, airports, alcohol establishments, museums, zoos, amusement parks, stadiums, gaming facilities, park district properties, playgrounds, athletic areas, forest preserves, municipal-controlled areas, government-sponsored gatherings, and government buildings… (Public Act 098-0063, Section 65). Ironically, these are also places where some of the worse carnage has occurred in America. (For the complete list of prohibited areas, read through the addendum at the bottom of this post).

Will more gun control laws stop violence and crime? Generally speaking, mentally-disturbed individuals are not too concerned about committing Class 4 felonies or paying fines for concealing and carrying a gun in “Gun-free” zones or so-called “prohibited areas,” especially if they have a penchant for victims who cannot carry a weapon just about anywhere in Illinois.

Sociopathic individuals don’t register their illegal guns or carry FOID and Concealed Carry cards. They do not ask permission to enter establishments they are going to rob; nor do they seek approval before assaulting their patrons. What we can infer is that “Gun-free” zones will “serve and protect” unregulated felons and not law-abiding citizens.

Laws and their restrictions have never applied to deranged criminals. Business owners (and their customers) who believe the “No Guns Allowed” signs in the windows are all they need in order to discourage gangbangers, robbers and derelicts from entering their establishments with guns (that will undoubtedly hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition!) are as defenseless as the paper those signs are printed on.

There’s little to argue about a country’s or its state’s “well-regulated militia,” but what about “regulation” of its nonviolent citizens who are proficient in handling a weapon in a dangerous and stressful situation? How will any of the following superfluous and restrictive bills aimed at upstanding and qualified citizens eliminate criminal behavior?

Consider a recent House bill that was introduced by Representative Deborah Conroy specifically targeting those who carry guns at schools by making it a felony offense rather than a misdemeanor.

HB 3669 (Deborah Conroy, Kathleen Willis, Jaime Andrade, Maria Berrios, Silvana Tabares, Michelle Mussman, Martin Moylan) amends the Firearm Concealed Carry Act [and] provides that a licensee who knowingly carries a firearm on or into a building, real property, or parking area under the control of a public or private pre-school, elementary or secondary school, college, or university is guilty of a Class 4 felony for a first offense and a Class 3 felony for a second or subsequent offense.

Another bill, HB 3675 (Deborah Conroy, Kathleen Willis), amends the Firearm Concealed Carry Act [and] provides that a person who is convicted of carrying a concealed firearm into a prohibited place shall pay a $500 (rather than a $150) fee to be deposited into the Mental Health Reporting Fund, plus any applicable court costs or fees.


Take a look at these proposed bills:

HB 4319 (Scott Drury, Barbara Flynn Currie) amends the Firearm Concealed Carry Act and provides that a licensee under the Act shall not knowingly carry a firearm into any building, real property, or parking area under the control of (1) a licensed establishment as defined and licensed under the Video Gaming Act, or (2) a licensed fraternal establishment or licensed veterans establishment as defined and licensed under the Video Gaming Act, where alcoholic liquor is drawn, poured, mixed, or otherwise served for consumption on the premises.

[HB 4319 also] provides that a licensee under the Act shall not knowingly carry a firearm into any building under the control of a licensed fraternal establishment, licensed veterans establishment, or licensed truck stop establishment, as defined and licensed under the Video Gaming Act, and alcoholic liquor is not drawn, poured, mixed, or otherwise served for consumption on the premises, [and] provides that any person (rather than the owner) lawfully in possession and control of private real property of any type may prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms on the property...

HB 4517 (Kenneth Dunkin) amends the Firearm Concealed Carry Act [and] provides that a concealed carry licensee under the Act shall not knowingly carry a firearm on or into any building, real property, and parking area under the control of a restaurant. 

HB 4715 (Kelly Cassidy) creates the Firearms Registration Act [and] provides that every person in the State must register each firearm he or she owns or possesses in accordance with the Act [Isn’t this the law already?]. [HB 4715 also] provides that a person shall not purchase or possess ammunition within this State without having first obtained a registration certificate identifying a firearm that is suitable for use with that ammunition, or a receipt demonstrating that the person has applied to register a suitable firearm under the Act and that the application is pending.

[Furthermore, it] provides that the Department of State Police must complete a background check of any person who applies for: (1) a registration certificate for a firearm that was lawfully owned or possessed on the effective date of the Act, was brought into the State by a new resident, or was acquired by operation of law upon the death of the former owner; or (2) a renewal of a registration certificate unless, within 12 months of the date the renewal application is submitted, the applicant passed a background check conducted by the Department in connection with the applicant's acquisition of another firearm… Amends the Criminal Code of 2012 [and] provides that it is a Class 2 felony to sell or transfer ownership of a firearm to another person without complying with the registration requirement of the Firearms Registration Act.

SB 2669 (Don Harmon, Daniel Biss) amends the Firearm Concealed Carry Act [and] provides that a person shall not carry a concealed firearm onto private real property of any type without prior permission from the property owner. [SB 2669 also] provides that a real property owner shall indicate permission to carry concealed firearms onto the property by clearly and conspicuously posting a sign at the entrance of a building, premises, or real property under his or her control, except this posting is not required if the property is a private residence, [and] that the sign shall be at least 4 inches by 6 inches in size (rather than exactly that size).
















SB 3559 (Kwame Raoul) amends the Firearm Concealed Carry Act [and] permits a concealed carry licensee to carry one loaded or unloaded concealed firearm and, whether attached to or detached from the firearm, one ammunition feeding device for that firearm with a capacity of 10 rounds of ammunition or less on or about his or her person. [SB 3559 also] provides that the licensee may not carry an ammunition feeding device with a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition or that can be readily restored or converted to accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition. [Moreover, SB 3559] deletes [a] provision that the licensee may (1) carry a loaded or unloaded concealed firearm, fully concealed or partially concealed, on or about his or her person; and (2) keep or carry a loaded or unloaded concealed firearm on or about his or her person within a vehicle.

SB 3561 (Dan Kotowski, Jacqueline Collins) amends the Firearm Concealed Carry Act [and] adds any building, real property, or parking area under the control of a church, synagogue, temple mosque, or other place of worship, to the places where concealed carry of a firearm under the Act is prohibited.


“The U.S. has more violence than other nations for reasons unrelated to its extraordinarily high gun ownership. Fixating on guns seems to be, for many people, a fetish which allows them to ignore the more intransigent causes of American violence, including its [poverty and unemployment], dying cities, inequality, deteriorating family structure, and the all-pervasive economic and social consequences of a history of slavery and racism.

“And just as gun control serves this purpose for liberals, equally useless ‘get tough’ proposals, like longer prison terms, mandatory sentencing, and more use of the death penalty serve the purpose for conservatives. All parties to the crime debate would do well to give more concentrated attention to more difficult, but far more relevant, issues like how to generate more good-paying jobs for the underclass which is at the heart of the violence problem” (Gary Kleck, author and criminologist).

Addendum:

Section 65. Prohibited Areas.
(a) A licensee under this Act shall not knowingly carry a firearm on or into:

(1) Any building, real property, and parking area under the control of a public or private elementary or secondary school. 

(2) Any building, real property, and parking area under the control of a pre-school or child care facility, including any room or portion of a building under the control of a pre-school or child care facility. Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the operator of a child care facility in a family home from owning or possessing a firearm in the home or license under this Act, if no child under child care at the home is present in the home or the firearm in the home is stored in a locked container when a child under child care at the home is present in the home. 

(3) Any building, parking area, or portion of a building under the control of an officer of the executive or legislative branch of government, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit a licensee from carrying a concealed firearm onto the real property, bikeway, or trail in a park regulated by the Department of Natural Resources or any other designated public hunting area or building where firearm possession is permitted as established by the Department of Natural Resources under Section 1.8 of the Wildlife Code. 

(4) Any building designated for matters before a circuit court, appellate court, or the Supreme Court, or any building or portion of a building under the control of the Supreme Court. 

(5) Any building or portion of a building under the control of a unit of local government. 

(6) Any building, real property, and parking area under the control of an adult or juvenile detention or correctional institution, prison, or jail. 

(7) Any building, real property, and parking area under the control of a public or private hospital or hospital affiliate, mental health facility, or nursing home. 

(8) Any bus, train, or form of transportation paid for in whole or in part with public funds, and any building, real property, and parking area under the control of a public transportation facility paid for in whole or in part with public funds. 

(9) Any building, real property, and parking area under the control of an establishment that serves alcohol on its premises, if more than 50% of the establishment's gross receipts within the prior 3 months is from the sale of alcohol. The owner of an establishment who knowingly fails to prohibit concealed firearms on its premises as provided in this paragraph or who knowingly makes a false statement or record to avoid the prohibition on concealed firearms under this paragraph is subject to the penalty under subsection (c-5) of Section 10-1 of the Liquor Control Act of 1934. 

(10) Any public gathering or special event conducted on property open to the public that requires the issuance of a permit from the unit of local government, provided this prohibition shall not apply to a licensee who must walk through a public gathering in order to access his or her residence, place of business, or vehicle. 

(11) Any building or real property that has been issued a Special Event Retailer's license as defined in Section 1-3.17.1 of the Liquor Control Act during the time designated for the sale of alcohol by the Special Event Retailer's license, or a Special use permit license as defined in subsection (q) of Section 5-1 of the Liquor Control Act during the time designated for the sale of alcohol by the Special use permit license. 

(12) Any public playground. 

(13) Any public park, athletic area, or athletic facility under the control of a municipality or park district, provided nothing in this Section shall prohibit a licensee from carrying a concealed firearm while on a trail or bikeway if only a portion of the trail or bikeway includes a public park. 

(14) Any real property under the control of the Cook County Forest Preserve District. 

(15) Any building, classroom, laboratory, medical clinic, hospital, artistic venue, athletic venue, entertainment venue, officially recognized university-related organization property, whether owned or leased, and any real property, including parking areas, sidewalks, and common areas under the control of a public or private community college, college, or university. 

(16) Any building, real property, or parking area under the control of a gaming facility licensed under the Riverboat Gambling Act or the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975, including an inter-track wagering location licensee.

(17) Any stadium, arena, or the real property or parking area under the control of a stadium, arena, or any collegiate or professional sporting event. 

(18) Any building, real property, or parking area under the control of a public library. 

(19) Any building, real property, or parking area under the control of an airport. 

(20) Any building, real property, or parking area under the control of an amusement park. 

(21) Any building, real property, or parking area under the control of a zoo or museum. 

(22) Any street, driveway, parking area, property, building, or facility, owned, leased, controlled, or used by a nuclear energy, storage, weapons, or development site or facility regulated by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The licensee shall not under any circumstance store a firearm or ammunition in his or her vehicle or in a compartment or container within a vehicle located anywhere in or on the street, driveway, parking area, property, building, or facility described in this paragraph. 

(23) Any area where firearms are prohibited under federal law… (from Illinois Carry Law).


If you’re interested in what I think about personal self-defense, two other articles of interest are “…Bang! Bang! Bang! Illinois Concealed/Carry Law HB 0183” and “A Letter to a Friend about Gun Control.” Just click on the titles.


What do you think about this issue?
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2 comments:

  1. Well, why not put a sign on everyone's back in gun free zones that state " I am the perfect victim". Who would obey that sign? We would the law abiding trained people with permits. Mentally ill or criminals would probably not really care if they are going to be charged with murder. They don't care......Stupid legislators... Delusional lawmakers.

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  2. As the law currently functions, it keeps legal concealed carry from many of the high risk areas people are exposed to.

    Hopefully, the General Assembly will eventually remove some of these restrictions, not add to them, in order to comply with the Supreme Court's interpretation of 2nd Amendment rights.

    Leave it to Illinois legilators to get this most basic right all wrong.

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