Thursday, April 25, 2013

No carry permit based on "character"

Action on concealed carry legislation is heating up in the Illinois Senate. Supposedly, there was some cooperation going on between Sen. Bivins (R-45 (Dixon)) and Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-13 (Chicago)), until Sen. Bivins reportedly bailed out.

I called Sen. Raoul's office in Springfield, reaching voicemail both times. Today I called his Chicago District office and reached a friendly male staffer. He guessed that SB0848 may become Sen. Raoul's concealed-carry bill. Right now, it's a shell bill with some wording about fire extinguishers.

Apparently, Sen. Raoul may think that some rejection language is appropriate, along the lines of giving the Chicago Police Superintendent and the Cook County Sheriff the authority to over-ride issuance of a State concealed-carry license, if the Superintendent or Sheriff has questions about the Applicant's "character".

I explained the problem to the staffer and asked him to pass it along to Sen. Raoul. The problem?

If the sheriff or the police chief doesn't "like" the applicant, he'll find something wrong with his "character" and deny the license. This will result in a massive number of appeals, delays, court cases and reversals.

I believe that "shall issue" by the Illinois State Police is the only fair choice for concealed carry in a state as dirty as Illinois, and I believe there should be one law State-wide - no exceptions for Chicago or other municipalities or counties.

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