Saturday, February 05, 2005


Fresh off its success at poking holes in a Wilmette handgun ban, the National Rifle Association has launched a new legislative drive to dismantle strong gun prohibitions in Chicago and test Gov. Rod Blagojevich's wavering commitment to broader gun control. Taking direct aim at Mayor Richard Daley's hard-line stance against the proliferation of guns, the NRA package of state legislation would allow residents of Chicago and other communities that ban handgun ownership to legally keep the weapons in their homes for self-defense purposes. It also would hold Chicago and other places with bans liable for injuries that residents claimed could have been avoided had they been allowed to carry handguns....

The gun-rights group was emboldened by last year's passage in the Democrat-controlled legislature of the so-called Wilmette bill, inspired by the case of a resident of the North Shore suburb who shot an intruder in his home and was then charged with violating a local handgun ban. The legislation created a loophole in handgun bans by allowing someone like the Wilmette man to claim self-defense as they fight such charges in court. Blagojevich vetoed the bill, but lawmakers overrode that action this year and the measure became law "With the situation in Wilmette last year, there was a change in the tone of the debate," said Todd Vandermyde, an NRA lobbyist. "Look at the votes we put on those bills. There were huge majorities."

This year's NRA package would punch a big hole in local handgun bans by creating an exception for residents who say they are keeping the weapons in their homes for self-defense. It would also allow people to sue municipalities with gun bans for injuries suffered as a result of a crime that they say could have been prevented had they been allowed to carry a gun. Another NRA measure would strip Chicago aldermen of the right to carry guns as long as the city continues to ban gun ownership by everyone else.

More here

Wyoming the land of the free: "A House committee on Wednesday recommended a bill that would liberalize Wyoming's concealed weapons law. The measure, sent to the House floor 7-2 by the House Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee, would essentially allow any non-felon to carry a concealed gun without a permit. "You can carry -- simple as that," said the sponsor, Rep. Becket Hinckley, R-Cheyenne. Wyoming would join Alaska and Vermont in not requiring permits for concealed weapons, he said. Hinckley, a deputy prosecuting attorney, was joined in support by Richard Bohling, Albany County's prosecutor, who said law-abiding citizens sometimes have been convicted of illegally carrying a concealed weapon when they had no intent of breaking the law. Bohling, holding a notebook bearing a sticker reading, "I'm the NRA and I vote," cited the case of an elderly Missouri man who was found to have had a loaded pistol in his glove box after a rollover. Bohling said he was forced to prosecute the individual, who was later convicted. The bill would prevent prosecution of people in similar situations who have no ill intent, he said".

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