Cook County Reinstitutes Gun And Ammo Tax

The Illinois Supreme Court struck down Cook County’s tax on firearms and ammunition as a violation of the Illinois Constitution’s uniformity clause with respect to taxation. The case, Guns Save Lives v. Ali, was decided on October 21st. The court noted that a special tax such as that on firearms and ammunition must be substantially “related to the object of the legislation.”

They continued:

In applying that standard to the firearm and ammunition taxes, we recognize that the uniformity clause was “not designed as a straitjacket” for the County (Arangold, 204 Ill. 2d at 153) and acknowledge the costs that gun violence imposes on society. Nevertheless, the relationship between the tax classification and the use of the tax proceeds is not sufficiently tied to the stated objective of ameliorating those costs.

Under the plain language of the ordinances, the revenue generated from the firearm tax is not directed to any fund or program specifically related to curbing the cost of gun violence. Additionally, nothing in the ordinance indicates that the proceeds generated from the ammunition tax must be specifically directed to initiatives aimed at reducing gun violence. Thus, we hold the tax ordinances are unconstitutional under the uniformity clause.

Since our holding disposes of this case, we need not address plaintiffs’ additional challenges to the ordinances.

The additional challenges included that this firearms and ammunition tax violated Article I, Section 22 of the Illinois Constitution which states, in part, “the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. However, Justice Michael Burke, in his concurring opinion recognized that this tax did violate Article 1, Section 22 and warned that it “leaves space for a municipality to enact a future tax—singling out guns and ammunition sales—that is more narrowly tailored to the purpose of ameliorating gun violence.”

He reiterated this in his conclusion disagreeing with the grounds upon which the majority of the court held the tax invalid.

Again, I believe that the majority’s analysis wrongly leaves the door open for a municipality to enact a future tax on firearms or ammunition that is more narrowly tailored to the purpose of ameliorating the cost of gun violence. The only problem with that approach is that it would still violate the Illinois Constitution.

Justice Burke knew Cook County and what they would do in response all too well.

On Thursday, November 4th, the Cook County Board of Commissioners reinstituted the “gun violence tax” with a 12-2 vote which amended the ordinance that was invalidated. Previously, the proceeds were sent to the Public Safety Fund. Now it will go to the “Special Purpose Equity Fund”.

The text of the amendment reads:

Effective November 4, 2021 revenue generated as the result of the collection and remittance of the firearm tax and the firearm ammunition tax set forth herein shall be directed to the Special Purpose Equity Fund to fund gun violence prevention programs as well as operations and programs aimed at reducing gun violence as determined by the Justice Advisory Council.

Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle thinks the amendment will allow the ordinance to pass muster with the Illinois Supreme Court. After rattling off stats on “gun violence” (sic) which encouraged her to push for the reinstitution of the taxes, she said:

The cost of a bullet should reflect, even if just a little bit, the cost of the violence that ultimately is not possible without the bullet.

What utter nonsense!

I am sure some of this money will be funneled to her favorite anti-gun organizations for “gun violence reduction programs” (sic). I imagine some will also go to Preckwinkle’s favorite academicians to produce more statistics showing “guns are bad”.

Perhaps if the money was aimed at cracking down on the Gangster Disciples, the Latin Kings, and the Four Corner Hustlers and their activities then it might do some good. However, in doing so, it would interfere with the unholy alliance between politicians and gangs in Chicago.

When famed Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. wrote, “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society”, he could never have imagined modern-day Cook County and their “gun violence prevention tax”.

Cities And Everytown Sue BATFE Over “Ghost Guns”

In a lawsuit supported by the Everytown Law, the cities of Syracuse, San Jose, Chicago, and Columbia, SC have sued the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives over 80% receivers. Of course, they characterize them as “ghost guns” and not semi-finished lumps of metal or polymer.

BATFE is accused of failing to follow the Gun Control Act of 1968.

From the lawsuit:

Defendants ATF and United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) refuse to apply the clear terms of the Gun Control Act. That federal law defines regulated “firearms” to include not only operable weapons but also their core building blocks—frames for pistols, and receivers for long guns—so long as those core building blocks are designed to be or may be readily converted into operable weapons. See 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3). Notwithstanding that statutory language, Defendants have declined to regulate unfinished ghost gun frames and receivers as “firearms,” even though they are designed to be and may be readily converted into
operable weapons.

Instead, Defendants have issued rules and letter determinations—continuing to this day—giving the green light to the unregulated sale of unfinished ghost gun frames and receivers.

The cities and Everytown are seeking an injunction and a declaratory relief in the Federal lawsuit brought in the Southern District of New York. They want any and all determination letters set aside.

The Everytown press release makes these assertions:

A ghost gun is a do-it-yourself, homemade gun made from easy-to-get, building blocks that are unregulated under the ATF’s current interpretation of federal law. These guns are finished by an individual, not a federally licensed manufacturer or importer. Ghost guns are one of the fastest-growing gun safety problems facing our country. 

The ATF’s current interpretation of federal law — which the lawsuit seeks to have set aside as unlawful — allows people who can’t legally own a firearm to easily buy the parts for a ghost gun. In only a few hours, these self-made weapons become fully functioning, untraceable firearms. A person can buy the parts and assemble a ghost gun without even receiving a background check

Research by Everytown shows ghost guns are becoming a weapon of choice for people with felony convictions, gun traffickers, and other people legally prohibited from owning guns. 

I call BS on the assertion that “ghost guns” are the weapon of choice of criminals. Stolen guns and guns obtained through illegal straw purchases are much more likely to be found in the hands of a criminal than a completed Glock-ish Polymer80.

Former BATFE technical expert Rick Vasquez had this to say in a Reuters report:

But Rick Vasquez, a Virginia-based firearms consultant and former ATF technical expert who evaluated guns and gun products to help the bureau determine if they were legal, said anyone wanting to address the proliferation of kit guns should pass new laws in Congress.

There is no word if Everytown Law intends to demand that the plumbing department of Lowes, Home Depot, and Menards now be required to have a FFL. As Tam has always said, they are selling 90% Sten guns.

GRPC 2018 – My Talk

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The 33rd Gun Rights Policy Conference in Chicago ended yesterday. I was honored to be on the panel speaking on Using New Media to Advance Gun Rights. I was joined on the panel by Don Irvine of Accuracy in Media, Paul Lathrop of the Polite Society Podcast, and Charlie Cook of Riding Shotgun With Charlie (on YouTube). This was my fourth time to be on the panel and I’m still surprised to be asked each year.

Below is my speech. This year I recognized that we are under attack like never before and need to up our game. I also recognized the diversity of those supporting our civil right to keep and bear arms. I don’t care who you sleep with or the color of your skin or even your political beliefs so long as you unreservedly support the right to self-defense and the right to keep and bear arms.

I’m John Richardson.

I blog at No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money and am also a co-host of the Polite Society Podcast.

If anything this year and indeed this past week have shown, it is that we are in a culture war. Everything we hold dear is under attack by an unholy alliance of the well-financed gun ban lobby, tech oligarchs, and the mass media. They have the money, they control the air waves, and are increasingly controlling and censoring our social media. Moreover, they have gotten smarter, savvier, and are actually, unfortunately, gaining a grass roots.

Nothing but our personal destruction will satisfy them. One need only to look at what they are trying to do to Judge Kavanaugh or to the vile, personal, and vicious attacks by former Parkland student David Hogg on those who would oppose his gun control agenda to understand this. In my past talks on using new media to advance gun rights I took a kinder, gentler approach.

No more.

We are all warriors in this culture war or we wouldn’t be in this room this morning.

I look out across this room and I don’t see men or women, young or old, gay or straight, liberal or conservative, white, black, Hispanic, or Asian. I see the Special Forces of the gun rights movement – people who believe in freedom, the right to armed self-defense, and the right to keep and bear arms – and who have the will to fight for it.

We have to be like the Green Beret A Teams sent behind enemy lines to create insurgencies to sap the strength and will of those who would curtail our constitutional rights.

Let me give you an example. When a Federal court in Washington State ignored the First Amendment implications of suppressing computer code and issued a temporary restraining order preventing Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation from putting it online, a group of civil rights groups including the Calguns Foundation and the Firearms Policy Coalition who were not covered by the order set up a website and put the information online themselves. They knew you couldn’t stop the signal.

I and hundreds of thousands others downloaded it. However, we didn’t stop there. We put the links up on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. When the oligarchs running Facebook and Twitter tried to suppress the links, we went around them and put up pictures of the links or used barcodes. is still up and running and it infuriates the anti-gun, anti-civil rights elites.

That is just one example.

Virtually everyone in this room right now has on their person a very effective weapon. I’m not talking about those who the state of Illinois allows to carry concealed but rather all the iPhones and Android cell phones. They allow you to take both pictures and video as well as being connected to the Internet.

What kind of pictures or videos?

Well, my favorite ones are of anti-gun politicians and gun control celebs like Mike Bloomberg, Shannon Watts, and David Hogg surrounded by their armed security guards. They don’t want you to be able to protect your family and yourself. However, they insist on their own armed protection. You know there is a word for people like that – hypocrites.
If you do get those kinds of pictures, post them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and every other place you can think of. If you see them posted by someone else, share or retweet them. Make it go viral!

Likewise, if you are going out shopping or taking friends out for dinner and you come across a store or restaurant that is posted against carry, take a picture. Post it to social media. Ask why these establishments want to keep you defenseless and put you at the mercy of those who would harm you or your family. As Massad Ayoob has said many times, gun free zones are nothing but hunting preserves for psychopaths.

Go to events sponsored by the gun control lobby. If they are having a town hall, record it on your phone. Take pictures of the Demanding Moms or the student marchers. Compare the numbers reported in the media with what you see with your own eyes and call them out on inflated numbers. I remember my late friend Bob Owens of going to an anti-NRA rally held by Shannon Watts in Nashville. He took pictures from all angles and then compared them to their “official” picture. He exposed their lies and showed how they rigged the photo to make it seem like there were a lot more people there than there actually were.

My final thought on using New Media to advance and protect our rights and our culture. We have all the tools we need. We just have to have the will to use them and use them effectively.

Thank you for your time today.

Two Steps Forward; Potentially Many Back In Illinois

As I reported yesterday, Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-IL) did the right thing and vetoed SB 1657 – the Gun Dealer Licensing Bill. However, there are many more bills out there that need to die. Moreover, the anti-gun forces are attempting to repeal the state law that pre-empts local regulation of firearms. You can imagine the regulations that would be enacted by Chicagoland politicians in the city and the suburbs.

On another note, kudos to the Iroquois County Board for its pro-Second Amendment resolution. The county is located in northeastern Illinois between Chicago and Champaign-Urbana on the Indiana border.

Illinois Carry has sent out this alert. If you are an Illinois resident, contact your representative and senator. Now.

Governor Rauner Vetoes Gun Dealer Licensing
Calls for Bipartisan Solutions
a full court press, all hands on deck, Katie bar the door effort by the
anti Second Amendment legislators in Chicago, Governor Rauner, with a stroke of his pen, has undone the heinous firearm dealer licensing bill.
been working with the Governor and his staff from day one for just a
time as this. IllinoisCarry has taken him at his word and with this, the
worst gun bill to hit an Illinois governor’s desk in decades, he has
proven his mettle.
extends our sincere thanks to the Governor, and to our members who
supported him while considering this difficult, but well reasoned,
But the fight isn’t over!
expect anti-gun Chicago legislators to attempt an override of the
Governor’s veto, and to pass several other pieces of legislation.
An amendment has been filed on HB1465 “Assault Weapon” ban Under 21
proposing an “affirmative defense” for our youth who participate in
shooting sports with adults.  This is a poor attempt to make shooting
sports illegal for our children while seemingly addressing our concerns.
An amendment was filed on HB1467 Bump Stock & Trigger Crank Ban to
now include the repeal of state preemption of local gun law, turning a
bill that some considered an acceptable loss into election year theater.
New momentum was given SB2314 Assault Weapons – Municipality, the inspiration for elimination preemption, and SB2317 Crim Cd Trigger Modification,  yet another flavor of bump stock ban.
Call Your State Senator!
Tell your Senator to vote against any attempt to override Governor Rauner’s veto of SB1657 Gun Dealer Licensing.
Also urge your state Senator to vote No on the following bills and any amendments to these bills:
HB1465 “Assault Weapon Under 21
HB1467 Bump Stock & Trigger Crank Ban
SB2314 Assault Weapon – Municipality
SB2317 Crim Cd Trigger Modification

Contact information for your legislators can be found here.
Iroquois County Board Passes
Pro-Second Amendment Resolution!
Tuesday night, Mar. 13th the Iroquois County Board voted to adopt
the following resolution supporting lawful gun owners in Illinois.  We
encourage other counties to adopt similar resolutions, and ask each of
you to share a copy with your
county board members!
Copies of the resolution and contact infromation can be found here.
of the

Resolution opposing the passage of HB1465, HB 1467, HB1468, HB1469, SB1657, any
trailer bill, or any bill similar too, or any bill where the 100th Illinois General Assembly
desires to restrict the Individual right of US Citizens as protected by the Second
Amendment of the United States Constitution
WHEREAS, the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms is guaranteed as an Individual Right under
the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and under the Constitution of the State of Illinois, and;

WHEREAS, the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms for defense of Life, Liberty, and Property
is regarded as an Inalienable Right by the People of Iroquois County, Illinois, and:

WHEREAS, the People of Iroquois County, Illinois, derive economic benefit from all safe forms of
firearms recreation, hunting, and shooting conducted within Iroquois County using all types of firearms
allowable under the United States Constitution and;

WHEREAS, HB1465 is a violation of the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution requiring responsible
persons under 21 to surrender lawfully owned firearms or face becoming instant felons; fails to define how to
relinquish firearms; only allows possession at Sparta shooting complex, but fails to provide similar exemptions
for recreational shooting at gun clubs, private ranges or under supervision of responsible adult or parent, unless
certified as a firearms instructor;

WHEREAS HB1467 is violation of the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution requiring persons to
immediately relinquish lawfully owned bump stocks or trigger cranks, while also failing to provide where and
how to relinquish firearms devices, thus creating instant felons upon passage;

WHEREAS HB1468 contains broad and unclear definitions which will cause confusion amongst
firearm owners and dealers as to which type of firearm is subject to 72 hour wait period; bans nonresidents from
purchasing certain long guns defined loosely as assault weapons, puts dealers in jeopardy of unknowingly
violating the law;

WHEREAS HB1469 is violation of the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution requiring persons to
immediately relinquish lawfully owned magazines, fails to provide how to properly relinquish banned
magazines, creates instant felons if enacted as written, creates conflicts allowing for sale to out of state persons
while stating possession is a felony, bans body armor worn as protection for those who employ the use of chain
saws, motorcyclists, range officers and firearm instructors, shop owners and employees who work in dangerous
neighborhoods or during night shifts;

SB1657 and trailer bills will create economic hardship on lawfully
owned and operated, small business firearm dealerships, in effect
forcing them to close; will create undue burdens and price increases on
persons to lawfully purchase firearms; will have a direct negative
impact on local economies thru job loss and sales tax loss; will create
another layer of burdensome government regulation on top of the heavy
Federal regulations; imposes new fees on top of existing Federal license

WHEREAS, Iroquois County Board, being elected to represent the People of Iroquois County and
being duly sworn by their Oath of Office to uphold the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the
State of Illinois, and;

the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate, being
elected by the People of the State of Illinois and being duly sworn by
their Oath of Office to uphold the United States Constitution and the
Constitution of the State of Illinois, and;

WHEREAS, The Governor of Illinois, being elected to represent the People of the State of Illinois and
being duly sworn by your Oath of Office to uphold the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the
State of Illinois, and;

proposed legislation, any bills similar to, under consideration by the
Illinois State Legislature would infringe the Right to Keep and Bear
Arms and would ban the possession and use of firearms, magazines, body
armor now employed by individual citizens of Iroquois County, Illinois,
for defense of Life, Liberty and Property and would ban the possession
and use of firearms now employed for safe forms of firearms recreation,
hunting and shooting conducted within Iroquois County, Illinois;

the proposed legislation potentially violates the 5th Amendment failing
to provide just compensation under the takings clause, 8th Amendment
imposition against excessive fines and punishments on law abiding
citizens by punitive forfeiture/relinquishment of lawfully owned
property, and Ex Post Facto Law Clause of the United States

NOW, THEREFORE, IT BE AND IS HEREBY RESOLVED that the People of Iroquois County,
Illinois, do hereby oppose the enactment of any legislation that would infringe upon the Right of the People to
keep and bear arms and consider such laws to be unconstitutional and beyond lawful Legislative Authority.

that the Iroquois County Board demands that the Illinois General
Assembly cease further actions restricting the Right of the People to
keep and bear arms, and hereby demand that the Governor of Illinois veto
all such legislation which restricts the Right of the People to keep
and bear
that the Clerk of Iroquois County is hereby directed to prepare and
deliver certified copies of this Resolution to all members of the
Illinois General Assembly and to the Office of the Governor.

That Shoulder Thing That Goes Up

Former Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) was asked many years ago by Tucker Carlson if she could define a barrel shroud which was mentioned in her assault weapons (sic) ban bill. She replied that it was that shoulder thing that goes up. We in the gun culture just shook our collective heads at her ignorance yet realized that even stupid stuff can be enacted into law.

State Sen. Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago) who is the Assistant Majority Leader in the Illinois Senate introduced an amendment to a bill (SB 556) that was intended to make technical corrections to Illinois criminal laws. Amendment 1 contains, in part, language intended to institute an assault weapons (sic) ban in the state of Illinois. One wonders if Sen. Munoz picked this bill because of its purpose or its number.

(14) Carries or possesses on or about his or her
person, in any vehicle, or concealed on or about his or her
person any semi-automatic assault weapon.
In this paragraph (14), “semi-automatic assault
weapon” means:

(A) any of the firearms or types, replicas, or
duplicates regardless of caliber, known as:

(i) Norinco, Mitchell, and Poly Technologies
Avtomat Kalashnikovs (all models);

(ii) Action Arms Israeli Military Industries
UZI and Galil;

(iii) Beretta AR-70 (SC-70);
(iv) Colt AR-15;
(v) Fabrique Nationale FN/FAL, FN/LAR, and

(vi) SWD M-10, M-11, M-11/9, and M-12;
(vii) Steyr AUG;
(viii) INTRATEC TEC-9, TEC-DC9, and TEC-22; or
(ix) any shotgun which contains its ammunition
in a revolving cylinder, such as (but not limited
to) the Street Sweeper and Striker 12;

(B) a semi-automatic rifle or pump action rifle
that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and
has any of the following:

(i) a folding or telescoping stock;
(ii) a pistol grip or thumbhole stock;
(iii) a shroud that is attached to, or
partially or completely encircles the barrel, and
that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with
the non-trigger hand without being burned;

(C) a semi-automatic pistol that has an ability to
accept a detachable magazine and has any of the

(i) a folding, telescoping, or thumbhole

(ii) a shroud that is attached to, or partially
or completely encircles the barrel, and that
permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the
non-trigger hand without being burned; an
ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol
outside of the pistol grip;

(iii) a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or
more when the pistol is unloaded; or

(iv) a semi-automatic version of an automatic

(D) a semi-automatic rifle or pistol with a fixed
magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10
rounds of ammunition;

(E) a semi-automatic shotgun that has any of the

(i) a folding or telescoping stock;
(ii) a pistol grip or thumbhole stock;
(iii) a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 5
rounds; or

(iv) an ability to accept a detachable

“Semi-automatic assault weapon” does not include:
(A) any firearm that:
(i) is manually prepared by bolt, pump, lever,
or slide action;

(ii) is an unserviceable firearm or has been
made permanently inoperable;

(iii) is an antique firearm; or
(iv) is a rifle with a fixed tubular magazine
located under the barrel that is only capable of
holding rounds of ammunition placed end to end; or
(B) any air rifle as defined in Section 24.8-0.1 of
this Code.

Illinois Carry has issued a call for witness slips to counter this amendment.

Call to Action
Slips Needed
Earlier this evening Amendment 1 to SB556 Criminal Law Tech was scheduled
to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow morning at 10:30 AM.
If this bill becomes law, it will arbitrarily define and ban possession of
“assault weapons” throughout the State of Illinois.
Witness Slips Are Needed
Please take a moment tonight or early tomorrow morning
to show your opposition to this ban on the some of the most commonly owned,
modern firearms.
And, if you haven’t already
filed a witness slip against SB1657 Gun Dealer Licensing, please see
the instructions in our IllinoisCarry Forum Alert.  File
these slips before tomorrow morning as well!
File Witness Slips Now!
To avoid
having to complete each field manually, 
Log on to
your ILGA Dashboard (or 
Create a New Account if you have not already done so) then return to
this email and click on the links for each witness slip. If you do not wish
to create an account, simply click on each witness slip link and complete
the required fields manually:
personal information. Enter “NA” for the Firm/Business or Agency
and Title fields unless you are officially representing an organization.
“Myself” unless representing an organization.
instructed otherwise for a particular bill leave the description field at
its default value “Original Bill”. Indicate your position by
selecting the “Proponent” or “Opponent” radio button.
IV. TESTIMONY: Select the
“Record of Appearance Only” radio button.
If filing manually, complete
the Captcha challenge and agree to the ILGA Terms of Agreement.
Then click Create Slip.

Witness slips can be tracked here.

UPDATE: The Illinois State Rifle Association has also released an alert on this requesting witness slips for both this bill and SB 1657. As I’ve said elsewhere, there is a lot wrong with Illinois politics but I do like the concept of witness slips. A trip to your state capitol during a work week is not doable for most people. Witness slips puts your opposition or approval to a bill in the public record.

From ISRA:

Action Alert – Summary – Two witness slips for Tuesday:

SENATE: File a witness slip now through Tuesday 10:30 am
(May 16) against SB556, as amended with Senate Floor Amendment 1
(SFA1).  The amendment turns this bill into a semi-auto ban, attempting
to ban your favorite rifles and pistols. 

Follow carefully any steps in BOLDFACE as they may differ slightly that you may usually see.

you look up this bill on the ILGA website, you have to view the text of
the amendment (links provided below) to see that the bill is being
converted from a shell bill (“makes a technical change…”) into a gun

HOUSE:  If you have not already done so, file Witness Slips NOW
Through Tuesday 11:00 am (May 16) against SB1657, Illinois Gun Dealer Licensing.

Last month you were also asked to submit a witness slip against this bill,
but that was when the bill was in the Senate.  This is for a HOUSE hearing.
So please submit a slip again, opposing this bill in the next hearing.

please call your Illinois State Representative and politely remind the
person that answers the phone that you are urging your representative
not to support Illinois Gun Dealer Licensing, SB1657. 

 SB556  Munoz – SFA1 – Semi-auto and magazine ban
is a ban of your favorite semi-auto firearms and magazines.  This is
done by amending an empty piece of legislation (“shell” bill) that has
already progressed in the Senate.  If you look up the bill, you have to
read the amendment (SFA1) to see its impact.
The status page of the bill will not show the new intent of the bill.  

Make your voice be heard by submitting
a witness slip against this bill in this committee hearing:

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing – 10:30 am on May 16, 2017
SB556  SFA1 Munoz – Semi-auto ban


is the Senate version of the legislation that would force your favorite
gun store to close under a mountain of new regulations.  This bill will
affect your ability to buy firearms or ammunition in Illinois.  Never
mind the weight of all the federal regulations that gun dealers and gun
owners must deal with, your retailer and you will have more Illinois
regulations and fees now too. 


The bill as amended passed out of the Senate on a 30-21 vote and
is now headed to a committee hearing in the Illinois House of
Representatives. Your continued action is needed against SB1657,
make your voice be heard by submitting
a witness slip against this bill in this committee hearing:

House: Judiciary Criminal Committee Hearing – 11:00 am on May 16, 2017 


How to create your witness slips:

If you have an account already at, go there and login now.
If you do not have an account, you are encouraged to do so, to make it easier to fill in witness slips in the future.

At this point, logged in or not, you click on this link to create your witness slip against SB556 SFA1:

If you are logged in, you get to skip to step III.
IDENTIFICATION: Enter your personal information. Enter “NA” for the
Firm/Business or Agency and Title fields unless you are officially
representing an organization.
II. REPRESENTATION: Enter “Myself” unless representing an organization.
III. POSITION: 1. Under description, Make sure that SFA1 is selected.  2. Indicate your position by selecting the “Opponent” radio button. 
IV. TESTIMONY: Select the “Record of Appearance Only” radio button.
If filing without a login, complete the Captcha challenge and agree to the ILGA Terms of Agreement.
Then click “Create Slip.” 

At this point, logged in or not, you click on this link to create your witness slip against


If you are logged in, you get to skip to step III.
IDENTIFICATION: Enter your personal information. Enter “NA” for the
Firm/Business or Agency and Title fields unless you are officially
representing an organization.
II. REPRESENTATION: Enter “Myself” unless representing an organization.
III. POSITION: Indicate your position by selecting the “Opponent” radio button. 
IV. TESTIMONY: Select the “Record of Appearance Only” radio button.
If filing without a login, complete the Captcha challenge and agree to the ILGA Terms of Agreement.
Then click “Create Slip.”

Afterwards, you can track witness slip activity for these bills/hearings:
SB556   click here 
SB1657 click here

Contact your State Representaive and politely tell him/her that you are a law-abiding gun owner and that you expect them to vote against SB1657 even if it is amended. To
verify who your State Resresentative is, use the lookup apps available
at the Illinois State Board of Elections website. (click here)
Even if you prefer email, also contact them at their Springfield and
district offices.  Email can be ignored, but phones must be answered. 
Remember, the person who answers the phone is usually a state employee
reporting to the legislator,  and is just doing their job.

Chicago May Finally Be Listening

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has told the City of Chicago that a) they must allow shooting ranges, b)that they can’t so limit their locations as to be prohibitive, and c)that those under the age of 18 should be allowed at ranges so as to get proper firearm training. These rulings stem from cases brought the Second Amendment Foundation and the Illinois State Rifle Association in  Ezell v. City of Chicago and what is called Ezell II.

On Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed new zoning regulations that would bring the city into compliance with the court’s rulings.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday proposed allowing gun ranges in more areas of Chicago in response to a federal appellate court ruling that struck down the city’s zoning restrictions on the shooting facilities.

The new rules would allow gun ranges in business, commercial and industrial areas, provided the owners obtained a special-use permit — which requires officials to take into consideration any objections from people and businesses in the surrounding area…

The changes also would allow people younger than 18 to shoot at a range, provided they are supervised by a parent, guardian or trained instructor.

The earlier regulations had limited shooting ranges to industrial areas and required that the ranges be located more the 500 feet away from “homes, schools, day care operations, houses of worship, liquor stores, parks, libraries, museums and hospitals.” This effectively limited shooting ranges to about a 2% area within the city limits. The early regulations also banned anyone under the age of 18 from going to a range.

While I don’t have the final details of Emanuel’s proposal, this seems to be a start in the right direction. When the minutes from the March 29th City Council meeting are published, I will publish the relevant portions.

Congratulations again to the Second Amendment Foundation, the Illinois State Rifle Association, plaintiff Rhonda Ezell, and attorney Alan Gura for their efforts to bring a basic civil right to the City of Chicago.

Gaming A Gun Buy-Back

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to waste another $250,000 of the city’s money in order to fund a gun buy-back. He announced his plans yesterday at press conference attended by the usual hanger’s on. The money is coming from the Chicago Police Department’s budget. The “intent” is to “get guns off the street”.

Emanuel’s buy-back will be a partnership between the city and various groups who can apply for grants to fund buy-backs.

Organizations can apply directly to the police department and will be responsible for organizing and advertising the events. Chicago police will staff the buy-back events, recover the guns, and provide cash cards for guns turned in. The $250,000 fund will be used to purchase the cash cards, and is funded through the existing CPD budget.

“Illegal guns drive violence in our neighborhoods, and we must do everything possible to keep them off our streets,” said Superintendent McCarthy. “Our officers already recover more illegal guns than officers in any other city in the country, and this new take on gun buy-backs will help us get even more guns out of our communities.”

The last time the city sponsored such a buy-back gun rights organizations and suburban gun dealers dumped a number of inoperable firearms on the city and collected $100 each in gift cards. John Boch of Guns Saves Lives said the money was used to purchase ammo for a NRA youth camp.

Boch said his group will be back and the cops aren’t happy.

Boch is vowing to return to Chicago with another 50 or 60 guns to turn in.

“We will put that money to good use for public awareness efforts on our part,” he said. “We don’t need gun control, we need crime control.”

Anthony Guglielmi, spokesman for the Chicago Police Department, said officers will check to see whether turned-in guns are operable but won’t check the IDs of the people who bring them in.

“If people want to game the system, society is the victim,” he said. “I think those people need to ask themselves, are they part of the solution to reduce violence?”

No, what Mr. Guglielmi should be asking is whether this $250,000 of taxpayer’s money couldn’t be better used in enforcement efforts against criminal gangs such as the Gangster Disciples, the Latin Kings, and Black P Stone. When you look at a map of Chicago and see very few areas that don’t have known gang boundaries, it is what I’d be asking.

The Anti-Gun Regime In Chicago Is Getting More Expensive

The more the anti-gun regime of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel tries to suppress Second Amendment rights in that city, the more it is costing them as they lose in the courts. The only downside is that it is the people of Chicago having to pay the bill and not Mayor Emanuel and his gaggle of aldermen.

A case in point. The US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois just ordered the City of Chicago to reimburse the NRA over $900,000 for their legal fees fighting the ban on gun stores there.

From the NRA’s release announcing the court-ordered award:

The United States District Court in the Northern District of Illinois has ordered the City of Chicago to reimburse $940,000 in legal expenses incurred by the NRA. The NRA had challenged Chicago’s ban on gun sales within city limits in Benson v. City of Chicago. The Benson case was consolidated into Illinois Association of Firearm Retailers v. City of Chicago and that case challenged five aspects of Chicago’s law: (1) the ban on any form of carriage; (2) the ban on gun stores; (3) the ban on firing ranges; (4) the ban on self-defense in garages, porches, and yards; and (5) the ban on keeping more than one gun in an operable state.

This is the second time that the City of Chicago has been ordered to reimburse legal fees in a suit sponsored by the NRA. The first was following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago in which Chicago was ordered to reimburse the NRA more than $600,000.

You may remember that the City of Chicago paid the Second Amendment Foundation $399,950 in attorney fees for the McDonald case. The NRA got even more.

I’m not sure what Chicago had to pay when they lose the Ezell case but it can’t be cheap.

And while we are in the state of Illinois, let’s not forget the legal fees that will be paid by the good citizens of Illinois to the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation for their wins in the joint cases of Moore v. Madigan and Shepard v. Madigan. The state of Illinois is trying to be a bit more parsimonious than Chicago given the way they are haggling over fees submitted by Alan Gura.

Chicago Ban On Gun Sales And Transfers Overturned

US District Court Judge Edmond E. Chang found that the City of Chicago’s ban on the sale or transfer of a firearm except by inheritance was unconstitutional in a ruling today in US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The case was brought by the Illinois Association of Firearms Retailers and three individual plaintiffs against the City of Chicago and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Under Chicago Municipal Code § 8-20-100-a:

(a)   Except as authorized by section 2-84-075, no firearm may be sold, acquired or otherwise transferred within the city, except through inheritance of the firearm.

The exceptions are for sales to police officers as authorized by the Police Superintendent and for loans of firearms at ranges. The ban did include transfers including gifts between family members. More importantly, the ban also includes federally licensed firearms dealers.

Judge Chang prefaces his opinion by saying, in part, that:

certain fundamental right are protected by the Constitution, put outside
government’s reach, including the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense under
the Second Amendment. This right must also include the right to acquire a firearm,
although that acquisition right is far from absolute: there are many long-standing
restrictions on who may acquire firearms (for examples, felons and the mentally ill
have long been banned) and there are many restrictions on the sales of arms (for
example, licensing requirements for commercial sales). But Chicago’s ordinance goes
too far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful
acquisitions and lawful sales of firearms,
and at the same time the evidence does not
support that the complete ban sufficiently furthers the purposes that the ordinance
tries to serve.

Chicago had tried to argue that their ordinance was aimed at preventing crime by preventing gang members from obtaining firearms. Research by certain well-known anti-gun academics such as Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig purported to show that gang members were reluctant to leave their territory in order to obtain firearms for fear of intruding upon another gang’s territory. Thus, Chicago tried to show that by relegating gun sales to the suburbs that gangs would have a harder and more expensive time obtaining firearms. Judge Chang rejected this saying that residents who could legally own a firearm would bear more of the burden of added transaction costs than would gang members.

Another argument that Chicago tried to put forth was that they could ban gun stores because the BATFE did not effectively monitor them. They called it part of a “chronically-diseased regime that is fundamentally broken” in terms of regulation. But, as Judge Chang noted, nothing in the ordinance offered more resources to BATFE or pledge enhanced cooperation by the Chicago PD with BATFE.

Judge Chang also notes that the Chicago ordinance went well beyond state and federal law in banning transfers and gifts between individuals and family members who were legally permitted to own firearms. They did this without any studies or justification for the ban. He said, “This lack of justification only bolsters the conclusion that these Municipal Code ordinances are substantially overinclusive and do not pass muster under Ezell’s rigorous scrutiny.”

Judge Chang concludes his opinion by stating:

In sum, given the rigorous showing that
demands, the City has not
demonstrated that allowing gun sales and transfers within city limits creates such
genuine and serious risks to public safety that flatly prohibiting them is justified. If the
City is concerned about reducing criminal access to firearms, either through legitimate
retail transactions or via thefts from gun stores, it may enact more appropriately
tailored measures. Indeed, nothing in this opinion prevents the City from considering
other regulations—short of the complete ban—on sales and transfers of firearms to
minimize the access of criminals to firearms and to track the ownership of firearms.
But the flat ban on legitimate sales and transfers does not fit closely with those goals. MCC § 8-20-100 and its zoning ordinance (to the extent that it bans the operation of
gun stores in Chicago) are therefore unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment was granted and the defendants’ motion was denied. Judge Chang then stayed his ruling to give Chicago time to file an appeal, to file a motion to stay his ruling, and/or to change the laws in question.

The decision can be found here.

“Carrying A Loaded Firearm Is The Gateway Crime To Committing A Murder”

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said in an interview with Dean Reynolds of CBS News that “carrying a loaded firearm is the gateway crime to committing a murder.” He said this during the course of the interview discussing how the Chicago police seize 130 “illegal” guns a week.

I don’t know about you but I have a hard time wrapping my head around McCarthy’s statement. Much of what McCarthy considers “illegal” is perfectly legal in the rest of the country. That would include such things as concealed carry, open carry, and firearms with standard capacity magazines. I see millions of Americans legally carrying a loaded firearm daily and murder does not begin to cross their minds even once.

While the state of Illinois has passed their shall-issue concealed carry law, it still is in the process of being implemented and no Illinois CCWs have been issued yet.

McCarthy points to the seizure of firearms as being responsible for the reduction in murders in Chicago this year. However, correlation is not causation especially when the police have concurrently stepped up their presence in high crime areas and put more resources into street-level intelligence gathering. If perhaps McCarthy put as much emphasis into suppressing violent street gangs as into suppressing firearms, Chicago might really see a dramatic decline in its murder rate. That would unfortunately deprive many Chicago politicians of a constituency so I doubt we’ll be seeing that.

McCarthy is pushing for a New York City-style law which provides a three year mandatory sentence for the illegal possession of a firearm. His efforts to get such a law passed in Illinois have stalled in the General Assembly.