The Illinois State Rifle Association issued an alert this afternoon regarding moves by the gun prohibitionists in the Illinois General Assembly. They feel the anti's will make some moves this week and they are asking Illinois residents to contact their state senators and representatives.
As June 9th grows nearer, a lot of attention will be focused on the General Assembly's efforts to comply with the court order to enact concealed carry. As important as passing shall-issue concealed carry is, gun owners should not let the carry issue distract them from other efforts already underway to diminish their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
Those of you who have been following the topic of gun control this year know that there are some key items on the gun-grabbers' legislative wish list. Among the crown jewels are the ban and confiscation of semiautomatic rifles, pistols and shotguns; the ban and confiscation of standard capacity magazines; the registration of lawful gun owners; and the mandatory reporting of lost and stolen firearms. The gun controllers claim that these measures are necessary to protect public safety. Of course, firearm owners know that these measures are designed strictly for the purpose of punishing people who dare to own a gun.
A glimpse of what we may soon be facing was provided by a front-page feature in the latest Sunday edition of the Chicago Tribune. In that story, we learned of a single mom so desperate for cash that she volunteered to become a straw purchaser for hardened criminals who were prohibited from purchasing firearms. She was eventually caught and is now serving a multi-year prison term for her misdeeds.
As far as gun owners are concerned, the hapless straw purchaser is right where she belongs jail. Interestingly, the author of the piece spins the story to suggest that the woman is in jail not because of her decision to commit crimes, but because the "gun lobby" has fought against legislation supposedly designed to combat straw-purchasing. Once again, the notion is put forth that muggers, mass murderers, and straw purchasers only commit crimes because the "gun lobby" lets them. In this case, it's gun owners' fault that this mom is in jail rather at than home with her kids.
In short, it seems that the purpose of the straw purchase story is to promote legislation requiring gun owners to report "lost or stolen" firearms to the police within a short time of them being lost or stolen. As is often the case, such legislation may sound good on the surface. But, the devil is in the details, and those details place an undue burden on firearm owners. Such proposals may be fine in theory, but problematic in practice.
So, here is what you need to do to help ensure passage of shall-issue concealed carry and prevent passage of extremist gun control proposals:
1. Call your State Representative and your State Senator. Politely tell the person who answers the phone that you are a law-abiding Illinois firearm owner and that you would like the senator or representative to vote for "shall-issue" concealed carry and vote against "may-issue" concealed carry. Likewise, advise the person that you oppose any proposal that would diminish your right to keep and bear arms and expect the legislator to oppose such measures as well. If you do not know who your representative or senator is, the Illinois State Board of Elections has an interactive search page here:www.elections.state.il.us/DistrictLocator/DistrictOfficialSearchByAddress.aspx
If you already know who your legislators are and just need the contact info, you can find that here: www.ilga.gov/house/. and here: www.ilga.gov/senate/.
2. Pass this alert on to your friends and family and ask them to make calls as well.
3. Post this alert to any and all Internet blogs or bulletin boards to which you belong.
FURTHER ACTION The Will County Board will vote on a resolution in favor of Concealed Carry this coming Thursday at 9:30 in the Will County Office Building, 2nd Floor, 302 N. Chicago Avenue, Joliet. Its important that firearm owners show up for the vote to show their support for the measure. Plan on being there at 9:00 AM so that you can get a seat.