Most Illinoisans are in favor of banning assault weapons, limiting the capacity of ammunition magazines, mandatory reporting of lost or stolen guns to police, and criminal background checks on every gun sale, according to a poll commissioned by the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.
But the National Rifle Association’s chief lobbyist in Illinois says those opinions don’t matter any more than if most Illinoisans were in favor of banning abortion, re-imposing slavery or shutting down churches.
The NRA is taking the position that anything the state of Illinois does to restrict gun control is a violation of the 2nd Amendment. So far, the federal courts have backed them up on that. McDonald v. Chicago overturned the city’s ban on handguns. And the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Illinois to write a law allowing the carrying of concealed weapons, just like the other 49 states.
Vandermyde is fighting Gov. Pat Quinn’s efforts to allow communities to use their judgment in determining where gun owners can carry their weapons. Chicago legislators are determined to keep guns out of schools and parks and off public transportation.
"I think local communities, wherever they are, should have the option to make it as tight as possible in their community,” Quinn said.
But the NRA wants a statewide standard, so Joe Gritzmacher from Effingham doesn’t get arrested for carrying his gun on the L when he visits Chicago for the Air and Water Show. But that would require 71 votes to overturn Chicago’s home rule powers -- and then to override Quinn’s veto.
The poll results may make those votes harder to obtain. By a 4-1 margin, Illinoisans said they are more likely to elect legislators who support gun control.
If the NRA loses in the General Assembly, it will no doubt take its case to court -- and there’s a good chance it will win.