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.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cook Co. 'out-D.C.-ing' D.C., part II

OK, a bit more on the proposed Cook County Ordinances. I'll deal with Suffredin's proposal first. I've already mentioned this proposed ordinance, and the fact that it would force several Cook County gun shops out of business (although I still have doubts that the county would have the authority to do that). According to ISRA, though, it's much worse that I had thought, in that it would force the closure of all Cook County gun shops, including the brand-new Cabela's "super-store" in Hoffman Estates, with all the loss of jobs and massive tax revenue that entails. I haven't really analyzed ISRA's claims with regard to that, but it seems plausible. As bad as this ordinance would be, it's kind of mild compared to the other one.

Commissioner William "Busy" Beavers' proposed ordinance has so many horrid provisions that I'm not even trying to make a comprehensive summary here--it would take all day. Still, I can come up with plenty of fascist provisions in pretty short order.

First, look at the following provision about what can be registered (and remember that possessing an unregistered gun will be illegal):

No registration certificate shall be issued for any of the following types of firearms:

(b) Firearms other than handguns, owned or possessed by any person in the County prior to the effective date of this Ordinance which are not validly registered prior to the effective date of this Ordinance;

(c) Handguns, except:

(1) Those validly registered to a current owner in the County prior to the effective date of this Ordinance . . .
That seems to be saying that any gun not registered before the effective date of the very law that establishes the registry, cannot be registered. That begs the question of how to register a gun before there is a registry. The obvious answer is that you cannot. Gun owners in Chicago itself, of course, already have to register their guns, so this part would not seem to make their legally owned guns subject to confiscation--but it would seem to treat long guns just like handguns--the only way to have them is if they're "grandfathered." All other Cook County residents (as I don't know of any other municipality within Cook that maintains a gun registry) would seem to be in even worse shape, because even every gun they already own would seem to be impossible to register. To be fair, an Illinois gun rights advocate and blogger for whom I have a great deal of respect doesn't think it would work quite that way (thinks it's basically a grandfather clause)--but I'm not sure I agree. It would certainly seem to ban the registration of guns that aren't already owned in Cook County on the effective date of the ban--basically, no more guns in Cook County.

Let's assume that there is some way for Cook County residents outside of Chicago to register their guns (the ones they already have), to avoid the guns' confiscation and destruction--what else do they have to deal with? Well, for one thing, very few handguns will be possible to register, because of the following provision (in reference to the requirements a handgun must meet to be "registerable"):
(i) A safety mechanism to hinder the use of the handgun by unauthorized users. Such devices shall include, but shall not be limited to, trigger locks, combination handle locks, and solenoid use-limitation devices; and,

(ii) A load indicator device that provides reasonable warning to potential users such that even users unfamiliar with the weapon would be forewarned and would understand the nature of the warning;
As far as I know, no one makes a handgun with a "combination handle lock" (although a fellow Illinois Carry member came up with this prototype), or a "solenoid use-limitation device," so the only way to meet that requirement is with a trigger lock. Several manufacturers do offer guns with those--all recent Smith and Wesson's, I believe, have such a mechanism. Springfield Armory, I believe, still offers their Internal Locking System (ILS) on at least some of their handguns, and I might have read somewhere that Walther has a trigger locking system. There may very well be others.

But there's another requirement--a loaded chamber indicator. I don't think any revolver has one (and I don't know how it could be done), so this would seem to be an outright ban on all revolvers. As for semi-autos, how many have both the trigger lock and the loaded chamber indicator? Very bloody few, I'd guess.

No "assault weapons" can be registered, and remember that Cook passed (last year, I think) a vast expansion of their definition of "assault weapons"--the AWB of '94 was extremely permissive, by comparison. As it turns out, though, it doesn't really matter what is currently defined as an "assault weapon," because both the sheriff (Tom Dart) and the county board president (Todd Stroger) have the authority to unilaterally define any firearm they choose as an assault weapon (from definition of assault weapon):
(3) Any weapon that the President, the Board, or the Sheriff defines by regulation as an assault weapon because the design or operation of such weapon is inappropriate for lawful use.
Don't worry, though--Stroger and Dart are friends of gun owners, as will be their successors. Yeah, right.

That's all I have time for at the moment--more updates to follow.