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.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Concealed carry coming to an Illinois county?

The idea is a bit difficult to imagine, but a bipartisan coalition of Winnebago County board members is giving it a try.

At least two Winnebago County Board members would like to see that changed in Illinois, starting in Winnebago County.

Randy Olson, R-1, and Doug Aurand, D-3, plan to present a resolution to the County Board this month authorizing concealed carry within the boundaries of the county.

“I put it together a couple years ago,” Olson said of the resolution. “I had a few members ask me if I would revive it, and I just tweaked it.”

The resolution is a 10-page document that outlines applicant guidelines and procedures before the sheriff issues a permit such as: being at least 21 years of age, a resident of the county for at least six months, passing a criminal-background check, completing a firearm safety training course and not having a history of mental illness or violent behavior.
Does a county government have the legal authority to do this? I don't know--I hadn't thought so, but I certainly wouldn't mind finding out that I'm wrong. Another issue is the whole idea of going, hat in hand, to a public official (the sheriff, in this case), and asking, "Please sir, if I promise to be good, may I please, please, please exercise my Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms?" If I understand the concept of rights (and I believe I do), that doesn't make any sense.

Still, many people who desire an effective means of self-defense, but are unwilling to break even unjust laws to have that means at hand, will want to avail themselves of a legal means of doing so, and it's not my place to tell them that they're wrong to do so.

Yet another issue is the rather restrictive nature of the proposed permit. The list of requirements, restrictions, and qualifications is long--too long to post here--but those interested can see them here. A couple examples: if you walk into an establishment that serves alcohol, no self-defense for you; the names and addresses of permit holders will be a matter of public record. Perhaps the drafters of the resolution decided that making such concessions was the only way for the resolution to have a decent chance of passage, and again, there will be folks who believe that any ability to legally carry a defensive firearm is better than no such ability.

The resolution was apparently to be brought up as part of county board business at last evening's board meeting, and assigned to a committee. Below is more news coverage of the issue, from a Rockford, IL TV station.

Speaking of resolutions in Illinois counties to combat the epidemic of gun laws, it has been quite awhile since I've talked about the other pro-gun rights resolution sweeping across the state, county by county.

I'm not going to correct that deficiency quite yet, but hope to before the day is over. Suffice it to say that progress has been good on that front, as well.