Home rule municipalities throughout the Illinois Valley have about one month to sign into law their own rules that ban assault weapons.
But don’t expect any changes.
Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is encouraging home rule communities to consider passing bans on firearms the state classifies as “assault weapons” before House Bill 183 takes affect.
Under HB 183, home rule communities such as La Salle, Peru and Utica will have a limited amount of time to pass restrictions on “assault weapons.” If the bill is signed into law in its current form, home rule communities will have 10 days to ban assault weapons. After that grace period, the new law pre-empts home rule authority on assault weapon ordinances.
Illinois’ ban on concealed carry was declared unconstitutional in December by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court decision combined with a 30-day stay passed recently means Gov. Quinn has until July 9 to pass a law that permits people to carry concealed guns. It also means home rule government entities have additional time to pass assault weapons bans but no such ordinances are expected locally.
Peru Mayor Scott Harl said he has been following the issue closely and doesn’t believe the city will try to pass an assault weapons ban before the deadline.
“I’ve been following it but I haven’t brought it up for discussion on the council floor,” Harl said. “It’s a touchy subject and by now, it would be too late to try and get something like a ban done before the deadline.”
Utica Mayor Fred Esmond said the village board has never thought of assault weapons being an issue worth discussion, but since there is a deadline approaching he may bring it up to them.
“We’re in a small community so it’s not an issue here,” he said. “It is a tough issue though. My opinion is that it’s not the people who carry responsibly but the people who may have a mental health issue or the ones who want to do wrong that are the problem.”
La Salle Mayor Jeff Grove said he didn’t realize the city had authority under home rule status to place such a ban.
“While it’s a serious issue, it doesn’t get talked about here,” Grove said. “We have no desire to do anything at this time.”
Concealed carry advisory
The Illinois State Police, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Illinois Sheriff’s Association issued a public safety advisory in response to numerous inquiries from citizens to the Illinois State Police Firearm Services Bureau empasizing that it will continue to enforce Illinois’ current unlawful use of a weapon statute in all jurisdictions.
Current Illinois law prohibits the carrying of an immediately accessible or loaded firearm on your person or in your vehicle regardless of whether it is concealed. Persons in violation are subject to arrest until the law changes.
The statistics show …
Academic scholars have long tried to accurately and responsibly use crime statistic data to determine whether more guns mean less crime or vice versa. The truth is that any “statistical evidence” used by anti-gun proponents and pro-gun proponents always have major fallacies not because of ill intentions, but because of the quality of the data and how it is either recorded or presented by agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation of U.S. Centers for Disease Control that keep such records.
In 2008, the Harvard Injury Control Research Center reviewed reams of scientific research on concealed gun-carrying laws and broadly concluded “the changes have neither been highly beneficial nor highly detrimental” with regard to areas of the country that either accept or prevent citizens from carrying concealed firearms. This is according to research conducted by factcheck.org.
There are two reasons why the effects of CCW laws on crime are likely to be negligible, the authors wrote. First, only a tiny percentage of the population seeks to obtain a concealed weapon permit. And those who do tend to be from groups who are at relatively low risk for either crime perpetration or victimization. They are generally older, higher-income, rural whites.