Richard Pearson is the Executive Director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. He is on the front line every day in Illinois dealing with the legislature and fighting for gun rights. He released this yesterday regarding concealed carry and HB 148. Also, see Don Moran’s note that ISRA’s fight against the Cook County Assault Weapons Ban is continuing.
There has been a great deal of conjecture out there about what we are going to do after placing HB148 on postponed consideration. First let me explain what postponed consideration means.
It simply means the sponsor with drew the bill before the vote could be recorded. The bill is still alive and will be until the second Wednesday in January 2013. This means we can bring the bill back during veto session, next session, or next veto session.
You will not see HB148 brought up again before May 31st ,which is the end of the Spring 2011 session. There is no way to do it and have any better results. Long before the vote it was decided that if the bill did not pass we would sue the State of Illinois over the inability of Illinois citizens to defend themselves outside of their home. Illinois is the only state that does not allow either open carry or concealed carry. We have now begun the legal challenges to the Illinois laws with the NRA. The is another challenge from the Second Amendment Foundation on a similar basis. Illinois is now facing two law suits over the inability of Illinois citizens being able to defend themselves outside their homes. Brandon Phelps the CCW sponsor warned the House of Representatives that they would be in court if the bill was not passed. Within seven days we delivered on that promise. If we get CCW by court order I am happy with that. If it comes by court order the legislature will have to still enact some legislation but they will find their hands are tied. We offered a good bill and they turned it down.
These lawsuits will take time to make their way through the court system. There is a great deal of work that goes into these suits every day before they are heard in court. It is not a simple thing to file a law suit. There is always on going work behind the scenes. Be patient.
We promised that in 2011 we would get a up and down vote on CCW and we did. We had
to probe and find out the other side’s strengths, weakness, and reactions. We have done that. There were a few surprises but not many. We have a lot of work to do in the next few months. This effort has taken a toll on our resources and our energy. We have to develop new strategies and reinforce old ones that work. We are not quitting. Remember we fiercely believe in the Second Amendment and the right to self defense. We will win this battle. As I reminded one of our opponents – “You don’t defeat us- we just fall back reload and attack again.”
Note by Don Moran, ISRA President: This summer will see a lot of activity in relation to HB-148 and all the pending litigation ISRA is involved in, Ezell v Chicago (Chicago range suit), Wilson v Cook County (Cook County Assault Weapon Ban), ISRA v ISP (FOID Privacy), and ISRA v Madigan (Carry suit). It is very important that we are able to contact as many of you and your friends as possible quickly when action is needed. I know you get tired of hearing it, but funding all this
requires constant vigilance as well. We’ve put on even more lobbyists this year and we are now involved in an incredible amount of litigation on behalf of Illinois firearm owners. When people ask you, who is the ISRA, or what has ISRA done for me lately, let them know all of the above, and then ask them what have they are doing for the fight RIGHT NOW? We need their help as well.
UPDATE: Wilson v Cook County, the ISRA’s suit seeking to overturn the
Cook County Assault Weapon ban, was granted leave to appeal by the Illinois
Supreme Court yesterday, meaning the Court will hear the case.