H/T John Richardson’s No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money Another Shot Across The Bow By An Illinois State’s Attorney – and As Todd Vandermyde, the NRA lobbyist for Illinois, said in an email to me, “it looks like the dike is beginning to break.” If you have State’s Attorneys – what many other jurisdictions call District Attorneys – saying that they will not enforce what they see as unconstitutional laws, it is monumental.
Ronald Dozier, State’s Attorney for McLean County, IL, today fired a shot across the bow of those opposing concealed carry in Illinois. He sent out a press release today regarding Illinois laws and the Second Amendment. In that press release, he said that as of today his office won’t enforce Illinois laws relating to the FOID Card Act, the Unlawful Use of Weapons, and Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapons as they appear to contravene the Supreme Court’s rulings in Heller and McDonald.
What makes this even more interesting is Mr. Dozier used to be Judge Dozier. He served as State’s Attorney of McLean County from 11 years before being named a Circuit Judge in 1987. He served in that position for 19 1/2 years before retiring in 2006. He was reappointed to the position of State’s Attorney for McLean County to serve out the term of the previous State’s Attorney who was made a judge.
There seems to have a break in the dike that is Illinois. Salient point:
It is a basic principle of the legal process that all laws are presumed to be constitutional – that no lawmaker would intentionally choose to pass an unconstitutional law. However, that is a rebuttable presumption and, throughout our nation’s history, many laws have been found to be unconstitutional (though only a tiny fraction of all laws passed)…. In fact,
the result of most gun control laws is that law-abiding citizens go defenseless while criminal thugs are armed.
I believe these facts to be incontrovertible:
1) No State that has gone from no-carry to concealed-carry or open-carry of firearms has experienced a significant increase in firearm violence.
2) Any evil or deranged person who is intent on killing others will find a way to do so, no matter how strict our laws.
3) Murder is already against the law and carries very serious penalties. If that is not enough to deter someone from committing the crime, why would they be deterred by laws against gun possession?
4) The police can’t be everywhere to protect us. Only on rare occasions is a policeman present to prevent a violent crime. Mostly they arrive after the fact, to investigate and apprehend the offender if possible.
People who don’t like guns—who don’t want to own or carry a gun for protection, have the right to rely on the government to do that for them. They do not have the right to require everyone else to do so. The Supreme Court has so decided. (emphasis added)
As the State’s Attorney, I have to make a choice. Do I continue to enforce laws that I believe to be unconstitutional, a belief that is supported by decisions of the highest court in the land, or do I continue to prosecute citizens who run afoul of State gun laws but have no evil intent or purpose in mind? Certainly the more cautious approach to such controversial issues is to keep enforcing the law, whenever possible in the least harmful way, until enough higher court cases are resolved against them that the anti-Second Amendment folks are forced to change. I’m not willing to do that anymore—too many good people will be harmed.
In fact, since I was appointed State’s Attorney last December, I have been quietly changing our policies to bring them in accordance with the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court. Now I am announcing publicly that the McLean County State’s Attorney’s Office will no longer enforce those parts of the following Illinois statutes relating to firearms: Firearm Owners Identification Card Act (430 ILCS 65), Unlawful Use of Weapons (720 ILCS 5/24-1), Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapons (720 ILCS 5/24-1.6) and provisions of any other statutes that appear to be in contravention of the Heller and McDonald decisions.
Our message is this: we will no longer use the power and authority of our office to criminalize and punish decent, otherwise law-abiding citizens who choose to exercise the rights granted to them by the Second Amendment of the United States’ Constitution to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and their families.
And if Illinois goes, how far behind must California lag..?