SPRINGFIELD - Hoping to bring Illinois in line with 49 other states, gun rights activists asked a federal judge Thursday to lift the state's one-of-a-kind ban on carrying concealed weapons in public.
In testimony before U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough, attorneys with the Bellevue, Wash.-based Second Amendment Foundation said recent court cases that have tossed out gun restrictions in other jurisdictions provide the legal grounds for changing Illinois gun laws.
Attorney David Jensen said the restrictions deprive Illinoisans of the right of armed self-defense.
The lawsuit, filed by Michael Moore of Champaign, is among at least two cases winding their way through the federal legal system seeking to alter Illinois' status as the lone holdout in the nation when it comes to allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons.
The court battle comes as state lawmakers have been unable to agree on a law legalizing the practice. Earlier this year, a concealed-carry proposal fell six votes short of moving out of the Illinois House.
In arguing Thursday against lifting the ban, Illinois Assistant Attorney General Terrence Corrigan said the gun rights supporters have no standing to move forward with the case.
"There has been no claim of individual harm," Corrigan said.
In addition, Corrigan said if the Second Amendment Foundation is successful, people would be able to carry firearms with little, if any, regulations on where they could take them.
Myerscough told the attorneys that it could be a few days before she makes a decision in the case.
"I will not promise it will be tomorrow," the judge said
The state of Illinois has a unlawful use of a weapon law currently on the
books. After review by the Illinois Appellate Court has ruled that this law is
unconstitutional in regards to civilians possessing, carrying, and owning a
firearm under the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. To quote
the Appellate Court “ Under the Illinois State Constitution 22nd
Amendment the state can change the laws to protect state security and public
safety. However federal supersedes state law and under the United States
Constitution a Federal document by the United States Government finds the State
of Illinois is in violation of the 2nd Amendment of the federal laws
of the land. However this court recommends that the action be taken to a
federal level and until then the state must caution all law enforcement that
any arrest of a law abiding citizen can result in the department, the officer, the
city, village, the county and the state financially responsible of any firearm
taken and destruction of firearm that is ordered to be returned to the owner.
The state, county, city, village, and officer can also be held accountable for
unlawful arrest, detainment, and violation of civil rights under federal laws
and this is to stand until the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the
State of Illinois must pass some type of concealed carry law in accordance with
the law of the land.”
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Dear Sarge we want to welcome you to Shreveport: Your rights are now suspended in Louisiana.According to Cedric Glover, Mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana, his cops "have a power that the President of these United States does not have."
Mayor Glover claimed his police officers had the power to take away certain rights.
And would you like to guess which rights he had in mind?
Just ask Shreveport resident Robert Baillio, who was pulled over for having two pro-gun bumper stickers on the back of his truck -- and had his gun confiscated.
While the officer who pulled him over says Baillio failed to use his turn signal, the only questions he had for Baillio concerned guns: Whether he had a gun, where the gun was and if he was a member of a pro-gun organization.
No requests for a driver's licence, proof of insurance or vehicle registration -- and no discussion of a turn signal.
Accordingly, Baillio told the officer the truth, which led the police officer to search his car without permission and confiscate his gun.
However, not only does Louisiana law allow residents to drive with loaded weapons in their vehicles, but Mr. Baillio possessed a concealed carry license!
What does such behavior demonstrate, other than transparent political profiling -- going so far as to use the infamous Department of Homeland Security report on "Americans of a rightwing persuasion" as a how-to guidebook, no less?
Mr. Baillio made no secret of his political affiliations -- he proudly displayed an American flag and other pro-freedom stickers and decals on his back windshield.
In fact, when Baillio asked the officer if everyone he pulls over gets the same treatment, the officer said "No" and pointed to the back of his truck.
Baillio phoned Mayor Glover to complain about this "suspension of rights" only to find that his city's "commander in chief" was elated to hear about the story.
According to Glover, Baillio was "served well, protected well, and even got a consideration that maybe [he] should not have gotten."
Thankfully, Mr. Baillio recorded a good bit of that phone call. I've reproduced a chunk of the call below:
Baillio: (in the context of being asked about the presence of a gun) Well, I answered that question honestly, and he disarmed me.
Glover: Which would be an appropriate and proper action, sir. The fact that you gave the correct answer -- it simply means that you did what it is you were supposed to have done, and that is to give that weapon to the police officer so he could appropriately place it in a place where it would not be a threat to you, to him or to anyone in the general public.
[. . .]
Glover: My direction to you is that, had you chosen not to properly identify the fact that you had a weapon and directed that officer to where that weapon was located; had you been taken from the vehicle, and the officer, in the interest of his safety, chose to secure you in a safe position, and then looked, found, and determined that you did, in fact, have a weapon...then, sir, you would have faced additional, [inaudible], and more severe criminal sanctions.
Baillio: So what you're saying is: I give up all my rights to keep and bear arms if I'm stopped by the police: Is that correct?
Glover: Sir, you have no right, when you have been pulled over by a police officer for a potential criminal offense [which would be what?! - DB] to stand there with your weapon at your side in your hand [Baillio's weapon was nowhere near his side or his hand, and Glover knew that. - DB] because of your second amendment rights, sir. That does not mean at that point your second amendment right has been taken away; it means at that particular point in time, it has been suspended.
Will Grigg from ProLibertate, an excellent freedom blog, has this to say:
According to Glover, a police officer may properly disarm any civilian at any time, and the civilian's duty is to surrender his gun -- willingly, readily, cheerfully, without cavil or question.
From Glover's perspective, it is only when firearms are in the hands of people other than the state's uniformed enforcers/oppressors that they constitute a threat, not only to the public and those in charge of exercising official violence but also to the private gun owner himself.
"I felt sick," Baillio told NAGR. "My uncles didn't die for this country so I could surrender my rights like a wimp. I felt terrible. I was just thinking of all that my family has done for freedom in this nation -- including dying -- and here they are disarming me at a traffic stop."
I know this kind of harassment occurs frequently all across the country. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security has on many occasions warned law enforcement officials to "look out for" folks like Mr. Baillio who have bumper stickers that promote ideas such as "liberty."
There is danger in the Congress, as well. Right now there is active legislation that seeks to label gun owners like you and me as "terrorists."
If you are interested in fighting that piece of legislation, please sign your petition to your Congressman and Senators demanding that you not be labeled a "terrorist."
I'll leave you with one last consideration. As a licensed firearms instructor in charge of a hundred different students every month, I'm often asked if indiiduals should voluntarily inform police officers of the presence of a firearm during a routine traffic stop.
While different states have different laws, my answer for the state I live in, Colorado, is an emphatic "No."
Colorado law doesn't require you to volunteer that kind of information, and this case in Louisiana proves why, if at all possible, you should never invite trouble by doing so.
The National Association for Gun Rights is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, single-purpose citizens' organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the Constitutionally protected right-to-keep-and-bear-arms through an aggressive program designed to mobilize public opposition to anti-gun legislation. The National Association for Gun Rights' mailing address is P.O 7002, Fredericksburg, VA 22404. They can be contacted toll-free at 1-877-405-4570. Its web address is www.NationalGunRights.org/
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Jury selection was scheduled to begin Tuesday morning in the trial of Pedro Espinoza, who is accused in the shooting death of Los Angeles High School football player Jamiel Shaw.
Shaw, 19, was shot once in the head while on the sidewalk outside his home four years ago. Espinoza, a known gang member and illegal immigrant, was also 19 when he allegedly gunned down Shaw.
The crime sparked outrage from the community. Shaw was a star running back at Los Angeles High School and had been attracting scholarship attention from schools like Stanford and Rutgers at the time of his death.
Espinoza had just been released from the L.A. County Jail on a gun charge the day before Shaw was killed. Shaw's family says if Espinoza had been deported because of his illegal status, Shaw would still be alive.
The family tried but failed to get a law passed that would allow police to arrest gang members if they are in the country illegally. However the LAPD has an established policy against stopping people based on their immigration status.
Espinoza could face the death penalty if he is convicted.
When they arrived at the apartment on the 12th floor of 2971 Eighth Avenue, they found a 44-year-old woman with multiple gunshot wounds and her 13-year-old daughter with a fatal gunshot wound to the head.
A neighbor who spoke with NY1 says she heard at least three gun shots go off inside the building.
"I was in the hallway when the lady came out, she had a bullet in her head right here. She live in 12A, I don't know them, I'm just a neighbor. I seen her come out. Messed up man, her head was swollen, big hole that size in the side of her head," said the neighbor.
The woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition, and told police her son was the shooter.
Police say two other officers tracked down the 28-year-old suspect, who was running from the scene.
Gunfire was exchanged, and the man was hit in the legs and torso.
He was taken to the hospital in serious condition.
Police recovered a gun at the scene.
An investigation is ongoing.
A handful of Chicago aldermen have launched a last-ditch attempt to secure City Council voting rights on every deal put together by a new board that Mayor Rahm Emanuel would appoint to try to attract private money for public-works projects.
The group of five holdouts stated their case ahead of Tuesday's special council meeting where the mayor's Chicago Infrastructure Trust measure tops the agenda.
The ordinance only calls for a council vote when city money, assets or property is involved. That leaves out projects involving city sister agencies, including Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Transit Authority and the Chicago Park District, all led by mayoral appointees.
Given that taxpayers could be on the hook if projects don't pan out, Ald. Leslie Hairston, 5th, said the measure "comes down to taxation without representation."
Allowing the council to consider such projects is among several oversight provisions the aldermen want Emanuel to add. The new proposal won quick endorsement by a host of good-government groups, but aldermen conceded they lacked the votes to win passage — leaving only persuasive argument or public pressure to sway the mayor.
"The city doesn't have the authority or the power to impose City Council authority on sister agencies," said mayoral spokesman Tom Alexander, who added that the mayor planned to move forward with his own proposal Tuesday.
Emanuel already has made several requested changes to the proposed ordinance, but critics say they are insufficient to ensure adequate oversight of an agency that could help shape the city's finances and image for decades to come by deciding how to spend billions of dollars.
Facing that criticism and a likely attempt by aldermen to delay the vote for up to two months, Emanuel last week maneuvered to put off the vote for just six days. The mayor also said he would issue an executive order calling for outside review of trust deals and finances.
A new version of the ordinance, crafted by the five aldermen and attorney Emily Miller of the Better Government Association, aims to ensure that the trust falls under the full force of state open meetings and records laws, that it's subject to the city ethics ordinance and that it falls under city inspector general oversight.
In an opinion requested by Ald. Scott Waguespack, 32nd, Inspector General Joseph Ferguson wrote that the only way to ensure the trust falls under his office's oversight is to specify that in the ordinance.
"The ordinance simply is opaque," Ferguson said Monday. "These are things that should be addressed and clarified."
Ferguson also said city personnel rules, the city ethics ordinance and a federal prohibition on taking politics into consideration when hiring and firing workers "may well not apply to the trust" and it needs to be made clear that they do.
The administration late Monday countered one point with a new opinion from Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton stating that the trust would be subject to the ethics ordinance.
The five aldermen also want the ordinance to require outside experts to evaluate each deal and the trust's finances, something Emanuel plans to do through an executive order that could lapse on his departure from office.
"We feel like we've come up with exactly what the mayor wants, which is an infrastructure trust ordinance, but one that protects taxpayers," said Ald. John Arena, 45th. Joining Arena, Hairston and Waguespack were Aldermen Robert Fioretti, 2nd, and Toni Foulkes, 15th. They spoke to the Tribune editorial board about their plan.
Ferguson said the proposed changes would make "significant improvements" to Emanuel's ordinance.
"The remarkable thing about Chicago is that we are debating something that is just the norm in the rest of the advanced world," Ferguson said, who then referred to Emanuel's tenure as chief of staff for President Barack Obama. "You need look no further than the Obama administration from which the mayor came to see exactly how it's done."
|What I was given this mess and I am an idiot who can not clean it up.|
Chicago - The state of Illinois has raised the income tax, and yet the pile of unpaid bills seems to be growing. FOX Chicago’s Mike Flannery sat down with Governor Quinn to ask him why that was.
“It's not getting higher. I inherited a $10 billion deficit when I became governor.” Quinn said.
Quinn conceded, though, that big lenders are losing patience with Illinois. Wall St. Bond agencies are threatening to downgrade the state's credit rating by two notches, a move making it far more expensive to borrow.
Gov. Quinn: If we get down rated by one or two notches, that will cause great harm to our ability.
Flannery: Almost in junk bond status?
Gov. Quinn: It'll hurt -- It won't be there. But it'll be very difficult for our state to continue to fix the roads, build rail systems and water systems and new schools that we must have to have a strong economy.
That's why Quinn called on the General Assembly to enact his proposed reforms of Medicaid and public employee retirements. They now consume 39 percent of every tax dollar, squeezing out money that used to go for other priorities.
Gov. Quinn: Our state budget today for operations is lower, in the coming fiscal year that we're proposing is lower than it was in 2008. You know, 2013 is going to be lower than 2008. We're making billions and billions of dollars of cuts.
Quinn called on Topinka and other officers to match his nine percent cut in the governor’s office budget.
Quinn has also proposed raising the tax on cigarettes across Illinois, to generate more than $3 million per year for Medicaid.
There would be an additional $1 per pack tax increase on cigarettes, bringing the tax on cigarettes alone to $1.98 per pack.
Critics say that could drive businesses out of the state, and to border states where the cost of cigarettes is lower.
Good Day Chicago asked viewers to make the call: Do you like a tax on cigarettes to help fund the Medicaid program? If you smoke, would you rather quit, than pay the tax?