Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Innocent until proven guilty? Not according to the Illinois House of Representatives

Today, the Illinois House of Representatives voted on HB 3633, which would require the revocation of Firearm Owners Identification Cards for anyone subject to an order of protection. The House vote passed, 79 to 30.

My contempt and loathing for domestic abusers is second to no one's, but I must protest any law that would deprive a fundamental human right to someone who has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt to have committed any crime. Our justice system is (or at least has been) predicated on the presumption of innocence pending the proof of guilt--the abandonment of that vital principle is a quantum leap down the road to tyranny.

I also could not help but notice something about the numbers in today's House vote. Recently, I have discussed several times the fact that many Illinois legislators who have received very high grades from the NRA, who have nevertheless voted against gun rights (these discussions have been in reference to SB 1007, and can be found here, here, here, and here). What I noticed today is that although only thirty representatives were willing to vote against a measure that would strip gun ownership rights from people who have not been found guilty of any wrongdoing, forty-eight of them have A grades from the NRA (OK--one of them is actually an A-, but nine of them have A+ grades). Of those "staunch defenders of gun rights," not two out of three saw fit to vote against this bill (oddly enough, one who did vote against it has a D grade from the NRA).

The NRA apparently grades on a rather generous curve.


DesertRat said...

I have a personal stake in this one and I have to side with the vote. Let me tell you why.

I have had an OP out against someone for 10 years now (renewed every 2 years). The individual is Psychotic and has been found a danger to others (but never committed). I haven't decided if the mental health issue should be disqualifying or not, I'm still on the fence for that one.

Now to get an O.P. the procedure is this: You (and your attorney if you have one) go to court and present your case to the Judge for an O.P. The Judge then decides if one is warranted. The Judges I have dealt with ask a lot of hard questions and I have seen them deny them.

If the Judge agrees with you he issues a temporary order, good for 2 weeks. At which time both you and the party you seek protection from must appear in court.

The Hearing: This is conducted very much like a civil or criminal trial (and they do hear domestic abuse cases in the same room). Both sides give testimony and are allowed to cross-examine, and present evidence. Once the hearing is over the Judge makes a decision.

While there is no conviction of a crime there is due process and (based on my experiences and observations) very high standards which must be met. One may also petition to have the O.P. dropped at any time which triggers another hearing.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

I see your point, Desert Rat, but I also still see enormous potential for abuse of such a law.

Anonymous said...

That also is just one venue. In many states all it takes to get one is to ask for it.

Divorce attorneys regularly get them to bolster their case and leverage if there are issues of contest in the divorce. It is standard practice for many of them.