Chicago Sun-Times gets it horribly wrong

Article: Stop Congress from trashing Illinois’ concealed gun protections

Hard-left liberals are vehemently anti-Second Amendment. And since Illinois is largely controlled by them, no surprise the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board would produce an op-ed piece that gets everything wrong regarding the current state of gun laws.

And they start off by strawmanning gun rights advocates:

The people who think the Second Amendment phrase “well-regulated” means “not regulated at all” are back.

And then continue by butchering the definition of concealed carry reciprocity:

This time, they’re pushing a dangerous idea called “concealed carry reciprocity” that would allow people who get concealed gun carry permits in states that have absolutely no restrictions to carry those hidden, loaded guns anywhere in the country.

They are referring primarily to “constitutional carry” states like my resident State of Kansas. While I can carry a firearm without a permit, I can’t carry it wherever I want, so it is not without restrictions. Same with the other constitutional carry States.

And continuing from here, it’s clearly obvious that the editorial board is completely oblivious to the current state of gun laws across the country. Since they list people who would be unlikely to receive a concealed carry permit in any State, including the more gun-friendly States like Missouri and Kansas:

That means a state such as Illinois could no longer draw a line and refuse to give concealed carry permits to people convicted of violent misdemeanors, substance abusers, repeat drunken drivers or who have severe mental health issues.

Substance abusers are considered “prohibited persons” under Federal law. If you don’t believe me, look at question 11 on the ATF 4473 form. Same with those with “severe mental health issues”, provided they’ve been properly adjudicated by the Court.

And while the violent misdemeanor of domestic assault is the only misdemeanor that automatically disqualifies you from owning a firearm, meaning it also disqualifies you from carrying it, States can decide that other violent misdemeanors also disqualify you from a concealed carry permit. And have.

Illinois will disqualify you if you’re arrested too many times, regardless of the reasons behind the arrest or whether you were actually formally charged with anything. And apparently that’s been used to disqualify a lot of blacks from being able carry concealed in Illinois. So the hard left complains about racist policies, and then hard-leftists in Illinois use their own policies in a racist fashion…. Oh the irony!

So their worries are definitely far overblown.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Under the U.S. House version of a proposed law being considered in Congress, all those folks could simply get a permit from another state — one with much looser restrictions — sometimes just by mailing away for one. Twelve states require no permit at all.

Twelve States don’t require a permit to carry within their own jurisdiction.

And you can’t just “mail away for one” either. Several States do grant permits to non-residents who are not in the military and residing in the State under orders. But you can’t just “mail away for one”. Well, technically you can, as the application paperwork is mailed to that State. But the application process isn’t easy, and the qualifications for a non-resident permit aren’t different from the qualifications for a resident permit. Meaning you likely need to submit a certified marksmanship evaluation as well.

And you also have to submit to a background check.

And the lowest fee I’ve seen so far for a concealed carry permit is $100. So how can you just “mail away for one” exactly?

If your permit is ever revoked or an application denied in one State, that doesn’t mean you can just send away and get one in another State. Background checks for concealed carry permits are very involved. And if you’re denied in one State, chances are you’ll be denied in one of the States that issues to non-residents.

Let’s take New Hampshire as an example. On their form for a Non-Resident Pistol/Revolver License, you have to provide information not required by residents. And several of the questions repeat those found on the ATF 4473. Two questions in particular:

  • Have you ever had a permit or license to carry denied in this or any other state?
  • Are you an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance?

And given the form is signed under penalty of perjury, someone could lie about the second question (unless they’ve been involuntarily hospitalized for substance abuse), but the first one is likely to show up in a background check.

Moreover, Illinois requires 16 hours of training and a valid Firearms Owner Identification Card before someone can get a concealed carry permit. The training ensures that those who carry hidden guns understand the laws. But why would anyone go through all of that if they could mail away for a permit instead?

Again, YOU CANNOT DO THAT! Seriously, does no one fact check what you publish?

Under concealed carry reciprocity, someone like Stephens — still on the run as of Monday afternoon — could legally carry and conceal his guns anywhere in the country, including Illinois, no matter what his background is like.

That’s provided a State will actually issue him one! If he has questionable events in his background, he’ll likely be denied a permit, in which case he can appeal the denial depending on what’s on his background report.

Given all the calls leftists make about background checks, I’ve got to wonder if you think no one is doing them. That not even Illinois does them.


The Violence Policy Center has documented 928 deaths since 2007 in incidents involving concealed carry permit holders in 40 states and the District of Columbia. Concealed carry laws ought to be tightened, not tossed out with the trash.

That’s 928 incidents in 10 years. Not even 100 per year.

In 2015 alone, more 1 year-old children died from drowning according to the Centers for Disease Control than the per-year estimate of deaths related to concealed carry. Total drowning deaths just for 2015 is 3,602.

And in 2015, more people died EVERY DAY on average in motor vehicle-related accidents.

The rest of the article deviates from reciprocity and talks about State licensing of gun sellers, so I’m not going to focus on that.

* * * * *

So let’s talk about the reality of National Reciprocity.

National reciprocity would basically declare a concealed carry permit lawfully issued in one State to have Article IV protection in other States. By “Article IV” I mean Article IV of the United States Constitution, specifically the Full Faith and Credit clause:

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

This clause is why marriage licenses and divorce decrees have the full weight in all States as in the State in which the license was issued or divorce finalized. Driver licenses have similar reciprocity as well, courtesy of this Article IV protection since a driver license is considered a “public Act”.

But yet concealed carry is not, despite the fact that driving is not an enumerated Right in the Constitution, and I’d argue it’s not protected by the Ninth Amendment either, but owning a firearm is enumerated with the Second Amendment, with concealed carry being an extension of that.

When the Supreme Court of the United States declared in DC v. Heller, further strengthened by McDonald v. Chicago, that owning firearms is an individual right, the question of whether Article IV of the United States Constitution applies to concealed carry permits should have been settled in the affirmative. But it is not.

The bill to which the Chicago Sun Times was referring is HB 38, the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017“. And that bill was woefully misrepresented by the Chicago Sun Times since it’s not a free-for-all with regard to concealed carry.

Contrary to assertions, it does not override any State restrictions on concealed carry. It cannot. That would be a violation of the separate sovereigns doctrine. It doesn’t even force States to honor permits from other States.

Instead it opens up States like Illinois to liability with in a Federal Court for the deprivation of “of any right, privilege, or immunity secured by this section, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage of any State or any political subdivision thereof”.

This brings into this the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges and Immunities clause as well. This would basically be declaring the concealed carry of a firearm to be a privilege under the Fourteenth Amendment. While not the same as a right, it’s still means that States cannot touch it.