Illinois Conceal Carry Compromise, but…

There is still a lot going on that isn’t clear.  The State-Journal Register reports on the basic details:

The biggest issue dividing the two sides has been how to approach the “pre-emption” provision, with pro-gun lawmakers pushing for a single, statewide standard that negates all local gun ordinances and violence-wary Chicago Democrats wanting to keep such laws on the books.

Forby said an “absolute pre-emption” provision that wipes out all local gun regulations — even those unrelated to concealed carry — has been dropped despite objections from pro-gun lawmakers.

Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, who also was involved in negotiations, said municipalities could keep current gun ordinances, such as Chicago’s assault-weapons ban and Cook County’s firearm and ammunition tax, but would be prohibited from enacting ordinances that could potentially deter a person’s Second Amendment rights.

Municipalities also would have a window of time to enact ordinances if they hadn’t done so already, he said.`

Read more:

If your goal is a compromise to avoid the June 9th deadline, this is a good compromise.  It has the strictest shall issue standards in the nation requiring significant training and limits on where one can carry.  It’s not a whole lot different from Missouri and I can say it hasn’t turned into the wild west here. It sucks for entirely different reasons.

However, it still isn’t clear this will become law.  It has to pass both chambers which isn’t guaranteed and the Governor has to sign it which isn’t clear at all. Not that Quinn is ever clear.

So what happens if it doesn’t make it into law.  If you listen to ISRA, everyone with a FOID gets to carry as of June 9th.  That’s a smart bargaining position claim, but it’s not at all clear to me that will happen.  The Attorney General has until June 24th to appeal the 7th District Court of Appeals ruling and there is a fair chance if she does so, there could be a stay of the order until the appeal is heard and decided.  That isn’t guaranteed, but it wouldn’t be surprising.

ISRA has played a pretty good strategy here arguing June 9th is the end of the world if a shall issue law isn’t passed.  May issue or Cook County exclusions were considered dead on arrival because those supporting conceal carry shall issue wouldn’t vote for such a bill thus allowing ISRA to claim it’s a conceal carry shall issue bill or the wild west.  However, the problem with the strategy is that if it doesn’t produce a bill and an appeal is filed with a stay granted, that strategy falls apart and the compromise coalition put together with June 9th in mind falls apart.

The Supreme Court has never ruled on carrying weapons in public and how they will rule is an open question.  ISRA has loudly claimed they would love an appeal, but that is either overreach or good strategy or both.  Heller and McDonald had to do with whether there is an individual right to own firearms and incorporated the 2nd amendment into  14th amendment due process rights.  Despite protestations from gun enthusiasts, there is no consensus on whether carrying firearms was historically allowed and protected and even then the Court would have to decide some boundaries for how to determine if a carry law meets the 2nd Amendment.  Do California and New York laws which are fairly restrictive suffice?  Or are they a violation of the 2nd Amendment?  If they are a violation of an individual’s second amendment rights, how does the Court determine where the line is?  That is a fairly complicated question and one some Justices aren’t going to want to get into.

I argued previously that Posner wrote his opinion in the 7th District Court of Appeals with this in mind and wrote a broad opinion so the Supreme Court would likely have to face up to all these questions in one fell swoop.  The Court could try and narrowly decide a case, but with the 7th District decision out there, more conflicts are going to arise between appeals courts around the country.  Both Heller and McDonald point to limits to the 2nd Amendment that are not insignificant.  Even if Scalia is willing to say carrying firearms is protected, will Kennedy, Roberts, and Alito?  That’s not at all clear to anyone who takes an honest look at situation.

Now, if a compromise bill passes and the Governor signs, all of this goes away because an appeal becomes moot, but this may not be the end, but the first chapter.