Thursday, July 11, 2013

Three Yards And A Cloud Of Dust...

When I first moved to Tennessee from Georgia, the Volunteer State had a relatively-new "Shall Issue" CCW law that they had largely cribbed from the then-recent one in Texas, albeit with some modifications like doing away with the requirement to conceal and the bizarre pistol/revolver qualification requirements.

It had some eccentricities of its own, however. For instance, you couldn't CCW into an establishment that served alcohol, which meant leaving the gat in the car if you went to lunch at Applebee's. Further, you couldn't even CCW into an establishment that sold alcohol for off-premises consumption, which meant un-strapping to go in and pay for your gas at the Quickie Mart at 0300.

Shortly after I moved there, the ridiculous ban on carrying into the grocery store lest you be overcome by the mind control waves emanating from the beer cooler was lifted. A few years ago they got rid of the prohibition on carrying into restaurants that served alcohol.

Following the passage of an imperfect CCW law, the restrictions are gradually being chipped away. The way things are going, it would not shock me to see Tennessee eventually go to permitless "Vermont/Alaska/Arizona/Wyoming/Arkansas-style" carry a few years down the road.

Similarly, a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth is being done over some of the idiocies and imperfections in Illinois' new shall issue law...

Let me repeat that: ...Illinois' new shall issue law... Man, talk about internet posts I wish I could send back in time to firearms forums thirteen or fourteen years ago...

Anyhow, the point is that the foot is in the door; the camel's nose is in the tent. As Claire Wolfe put it in a column in S.W.A.T. Magazine last July:
Instead, smaller groups working at state level practiced the art of the possible. When they couldn’t get everything they came for, they grimly settled for half a loaf and made plans to come back for the other half. This often put them at odds with the “all or nothing” purists (um, like us) within their own ranks. They resolutely ignored the naysayers and plugged away. They ultimately changed laws—and minds.

The single-issue activists started with nothing: scant organization, little funding, no widespread support, and active hostility among entrenched lawmakers. But they didn’t give way to despair.
Do you think the people in Illinois who have been busting their ass to make this happen are done now? I don't. Not by a long shot. People who've worked as hard as they have don't have any quit in 'em.


Firehand said...

Back in the 70's and 80's, I'd never have believed it.

Good on 'em for the work they've done

Mike V. said...

Firebrand, I'd have not believed shall issue in IL 2 years ago. Bet it gives the O heartburn just to think about it.

Scott J said...

Meanwhile true shall issue died here in the Heart of Dixie. We're still may issue but at least you now have a little recourse if the sheriff elects to deny your right.

What annoys me even more is not ditching the permit requirement to have one in your console or glove box.

I heard some quisling sheriff call that the "drive by shooting provision" and then it was dropped from the bill.

mikee said...

As a NC native who now lives in TX, I can confirm that nibbling around the edges of imperfect laws can, and does, go both ways.

Here in TX elimination of local prosecutions (Houston) for statewide, legal automobile carry of a loaded pistol while traveling was a step in the right direction a few years back. Meanwhile, CHL holders are still banned from carrying on college campuses statewide, which means if I cross the wrong street in downtown Austin and enter the campus of UT, I am breaking the law.

In NC, the sheriff of my home county decided the shall issue law does not require him to issue applications for the permits to citizens.

Which direction, forward or retrograde, do you think future gun control arguments will take in the land of the Daley Machine, Bill Ayers and Rahm Emmanuel?

It isn't eternal vigilance the residents of Illinois need, it is eternally outraged aggressiveness against their own government.

Joel said...

It seems like only about eight years ago I laughed in scorn at people who predicted the spread of "Vermont Carry," while I bitterly clung to my doom'n'gloom prophecies of nationwide total bans. I've still got heartburn from all the words I've eaten since then.

Unknown said...

... the foot is in the door; the camel's nose is in the tent ...

On the other side of this, I don't doubt that the cows are being had, the ashes are fresh in the firepits, and the sackcloth has been donned in every sector of GFW WebWorld. I haven't looked yet; hippie tears have high salt content, and my blood pressure can only take so much abuse.

Still doing a heartfelt but discreet Happy Dance. Props to the folks who continue to fight the good fight outside the walls of Mordor On the Lake. (One year in those environs was more than enough for me.)

TJIC said...

As an all-or-nothing inclined extremist-crank, I'll admit that I do note and appreciate the effectiveness of this approach.

...and at the end of the day, what matters except effectiveness?

Anonymous said...

The thing about "three yards and a cloud of dust" is that you have to be willing to go for it on fourth, and not go three and punt. There's work to be done still, oddly enough especially in the early adopter states like right here in Fla. What was groundbreaking back when is problematic now, and there hasn't been much effort to get back in the game as in TN.

Good on the folks in Illinois; I've always said (going back to the Morton Grove/Kennesaw days) that place is just Ill. But the good people there are strong...and patient.

Don said...

Believe it or not, it's even better than all that. Remember McDonald v. Chicago, when Chicago lost its handgun ban, so they replaced it with an onerous "Chicago Firearm Permit" that cost a fortune and required live fire training (which they tried to forbid in the city, necessitating Ezell v. Chicago) among other ridiculous requirements, and limited handgun possession to a definition of the "home" that excluded your porches, garage, and lawn?

HB0183 also preempts ALL local ordinances concerning handguns and handgun accessories, so the CFP is completely dead as it relates to handguns. Most on the other side don't even realize that's happened yet. :)

It's also, in terms of incremental progress, actually a much bigger bite of the apple than most people realize. Illinois' constitution requires a 3/5 supermajority for any bill that preempts local "home rule" control by imposing a statewide standard. That's always been the real sticking point for statewide shall-issue CCW and the only reason we needed the court decision--we've had solid majorities for shall-issue bills better than HB0183 for years, even passing one to be vetoed in 1993. We got majority votes in each of the last three sessions, but not supermajorities.
HOWEVER: now that HB0183 is law, the preemption is established. Further changes to this statute do not require supermajorities. The bill got 89 votes in the House, for instance, and 77 on the override vote; it needed 71 to pass. But a bill to cut down the required training hours, or remove public transportation from the list of prohibited places, or lower the fee, will need 60 votes in the House.

It's more than just a better bill than people think. It's an enormous victory.

Al T. said...

Tam, that's exactly what we've had to do here in South Kackalacky. After my first CWP class, I didn't even turn in my application, too many restrictions turning any error into a felony. Now, 20 years later, much has changed.

Boat Guy said...

Good to hear, Don.
Persistence IS the name of the game. It took years of VCDL effort to get rid of VA's "Restaurant Ban"
However, another thought comes to mind;
"Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty."
Some three-way races and a couple hundred votes "gained" Colorado a Dem majority and some heinous laws. Now, despite our 'battin .500 recall effort. we STILL stand to lose 'cause we're being outspent by Bloomberg money (again)

Kristophr said...

This is how the victim-disarmament folks got us here in the first place.

By always pushing, and taking one nibble at a time.

David said...

No, we are not even close to being done with the CCW law here in Illinois. Steps were being taken immediately after the bill was made law to remedy the things we did not particularly like about our new law.
Nice to read about other states that experienced the same issues when their laws were first made.
We will continue to work on our CCW law as well as actively working on Gun owners rights here in Illinois...

Windy Wilson said...

Mikee, so in NC you need an FOIA request for an application to exercise a right named in the Constitution?

This gradualism is, after all, how we got (thanks to the NAACP) from the bombshell of Plessey v Ferguson in 1896 to Brown v Board of Education in 1954.

Anonymous said...

When Wisconsin was going through this process a while back, there was a fringe "liberty carry" group that tried to defeat every bill because every restriction was an intolerable infringement of liberty. That moron (the "group" was mostly just one extremely vocal guy) set back the cause of carry in Wisconsin by at least 5 years.
Carmel IN

Anonymous said...

Lets eat all their cake we can and then moan and complain about their unwillingness to "compromise" when they resist us eating the rest. Ha you like that ya sniveling hippie!!!

RabidAlien said...

@mikee: Sorry if someone's beat me to this, but there was a change recently in the CHL laws in Texas that stated you do NOT have to disarm or leave your firearm at home simply because you're dropping your kids off at school. They've defined the restriction as starting at the THRESHOLD of the school, meaning you are able to escort your kid to the front door and kiss him goodbye (along with his chances of not being heckled mercilessly for the rest of his school days) as long as you do not actually physically enter through the doors of a school building. I don't know for sure if this applies to college/university campuses, but it IS a change in the right direction.

( scroll down to #35. The bit about "any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted..." is a bit sticky, but from what I've seen in the DFW area, the common places for school field trips [ie, zoo] are already posted with 30.06 signs)

Anonymous said...

Bout time. Finally, carry (in some fashion) in all 50! Lets aim for national reciprocity next.

If your not a member, join NRA! found a link to save $10.

Join up!

Bubblehead Les. said...

Don't you just love it when the Antis keep coming up with Unconstitutional Roadblocks whenever the Pro-Gunners are on 4th and 1? I'm sure that the Good People of Illinois have a lot of work ahead of them, but half of it is the Antis putting their own necks on the Blocks.

Fer'instance. You mentioned Disarming in the Parking Lot. Today a U.S. Judge (in DENVER!) told the Postal Service that Firearms Bans in Parking Lots were Unconstitutional, but Banning carrying them INTO the Building is NOT.

So that opens up a whole new can of worms. Does that mean that if I use a Drive-By Mail Dropbox in the Parking Lot, I'm okay, but using the one in the Lobby is not, so what's the Difference?

And does this mean the Judge will say that Banning Guns in HIS own Court Parking Lot is Constitutional? and if so, why does the Federal Court House get a Pass, but not the Post Office?

Bottom Line: If we can get a Pro-2A President, then the Justice Dept. will HAVE to go after all those States that are Violating our Civil Rights. Until then, it's Roll Up the Sleeves and get involved on the local level.

Windy Wilson said...

Incrementalism is how we got here (the bad stuff) it's how we'll get out. The frog thing works both ways. We have to have a long march for liberty, just as the Leftists have had a long march for totalitarianism.

Just My 2¢ said...

Here in Wyoming, many LEO types were wringing their hands when permitless carry was approved. I admit that I was worried about morons with guns, too. Fortunately, experience has been generally "no blood, no foul".
I need to apologize for underestimating my community.

Rick C said...

Just what Windy said. Democrats love incrementalism when it works for them; the fact that it does work is why we should adopt it even though absolutists don't like it.

jdunmyer said...

In most cases that I'm aware of, it was State-level organizations that led the way towards CCW, not the much-maligned NRA. Personally, I'm a strong believer in NRA membership, *and* your local organization. In Michigan, we have Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, Ohio has Ohioans for Concealed Carry, etc. These outfits sponsor local Meet 'n Greets with the pols and other worth-while activities.

Get involved and contribute! The cost of a box of ammo helps a bunch.

Anonymous said...

As an aside, having concealed carry in Chicago will finally give the anti's a place they can point to that has blood in the streets and wild west shoot outs......

Matthew said...

I can be a broken record on this but Alaska went from "no carry" in '93 to "meh" shall-issue in '94 to Alaska Carry in 2004 via incremental improvements.

God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

I made this comment elsewhere a couple of days ago... I think it will prove true...

"Predictions from a country boy… A) Two years after the Illinois CCW law is in effect, everyone will wonder what the fuss was all about… B) In three years after the Illinois CCW law is in effect, they will find that gun crimes have dropped in numbers during the first two years… C) Five years after the Illinois CCW law is in effect, they will have success with new legislation loosening up the CCW laws for Illinois…"

Ohio has modified it's CCW laws six times since 2004 and every time it has become more gun-friendly...

Dann in Ohio

Matthew said...


That's really where our active minority support has the advantage.

The anti's can gin up general fear when the issue is a big change like "OMG people will be carrying pistols!"

Once you have that though, they have a hard time panicking the masses every few years with cries that "OMG they're making a minor variation to existing law!"

Drang said...

@Anon @ 9:04 & Matthew @ 6:52: Washington State has been Shall Issue for FIFTY YEARS. Who's an "early adopter"?

(Not that our law is perfect, I still can't carry in a bar, but at least I can carry in a restaurant that serves booze, AND I can even have a drink with dinner. OTOH, just south of the Columbia they can carry in the bar. OTGH, WA will issue to non-residents, but OR is "may-issue" to outsiders.)

Matthew said...


Why are you including me in that? =)

In any event, WA and the few states that have had it prior to the Shall-Issue wave I describe as "legacies."

"Early adopters" in context to me applies to those on the leading edge of the shall-issue wave of the late '80s, Florida is usually mentioned but they weren't actually the first, they just brought it to national attention.

Alaska was comparatively late.

Robert said...

And NC will finally be fixing some of its faults, as long as the damn sheriffs don't muck things up.

Ed said...

Ironic to read "it would not shock me to see Tennessee eventually go to permitless "Vermont/Alaska/Arizona/Wyoming/Arkansas-style" carry".

Also known as "Constitutional Carry", as you would swear from reading the U.S. Constitution that no government entity could infringe on your right to keep and bear arms.

I have an idea, just as stated by many others before me but reworded to reverse the comparison. Let us make it as easy to register to vote as it is to obtain a government license/permit to keep and bear arms in most states. $150 fee? Why that is a poll tax. Mandatory voter education? Can't do that either. Background check before registering to vote with another check before receiving a ballot? Not allowed. Demonstrate to a state-appointed tester that you can handle voting responsibly? Nope. Require special government permission to keep your ballot selections concealed from others instead of openly voting? Oh no.

When you can "Constitutionally Carry" in all the states and territories of the United States without government interference, then we will have achieved some of the liberty described in the U.S. Constitution. Remove from office all those who attempt to violate your civil rights.

Tam said...


"Also known as "Constitutional Carry""

Devil's Advocate Hat On:

(Pretend I'm some evil shyster of a lawyer and you're sitting in the witness box and have just said "Constitutional Carry".)

"So, you're a pretty big fan of our Constitution, then? You study it a lot? Consider yourself pretty well informed on constitutional issues?

Can you tell the court who is the ultimate arbiter of what is and isn't constitutional?

That's right. And could you tell us what they said about the right to carry a gun?"

As a consequence,I like "permitless carry" or "Vermont-style". It's a lot more descriptive and less likely to get deliberately twisted by a snake.

(And yes, Ed, that's the end goal, but we're not going to get there by wishing for a Hail Mary on the internet. While we're flap-jawing about this, there are people actually getting stuff done, as has been noted all through this comment section.)

Anonymous said...

Actually due to Chicago lawyers and politicians being cheap and arrogant this has potential to lead to an even bigger civil rights victory. This bill gives cities 10 days from effective date to pass an assault weapons ban.
Alot of local bergs have passed some shady bills without much thought due to the rush. Chicago sent out a copy of their ban to those towns with instructions to copy paste. The town politicians being dumb but not that dumb realized that this was just an attempt by Chicago to get some help with the green in defending their ban. This means that alot of towns have passed some very indefensible bills in a circuit court district that has been somewhat friendly to gun rights. End result is small town lawyers defending crap bills involving "assault weapons" and standard cap mag bans. See the potential?

leaddog said...

Thank you for your attention to this topic that is very important to your westerly neighbors. As you reminded me in response to my comment a few days ago, half a loaf is indeed better than none at all. My impression is that the passion and determination of the ones doing the real heavy lifting and those, such as me, who are holding their coats, cheering, and swabbing wounds, has only increased by the way we have been treated in the legislature.

Even now the battle in the appellate court is engaged over the permanence of the injunction that started it all, and plans are being made to begin the process of cleaning up problems we see, as soon as the law is fully implemented and the dust settles sufficiently. There is a long trek ahead with many battles yet to be fought.

It is my hope that the court will make the injunction permanent and allow FOID holders to carry under the terms of the new law until the bureaucracy gets the permit system in place. It is my further hope then, that we can use the record of the year or so of "interim carry" to point to the antis that a lot of the administrative and training requirements are unneeded and can be paired.

As for the fees, it is purely money grab. All of the administrative cost of finger prints and processing is largely a county level affair, while all the cash goes to Springfield. We are, as you know, one of the most broke of the deep blue socialist welfare states.

Thank you again for the forum and to all who have posted their thoughtful points.

Love the free ice cream!

Ed said...

The Devil’s Advocate is always fashionably dressed, especially when it comes to hats.

A law school’s Constitutional Law professors are considered by some to be “experts” on Constitutional law, even though they are not the “final arbiters”. So who does these "experts" include? At the University of Chicago Law School, senior lecturers have been Barack Obama, current POTUS, and Judge Richard Posner, author of the Seventh Circuit Court’s opinion in Moore v. Madigan, which is the impetus for Illinois passing the law allowing but restricting the carry of weapons. Without this law, Illinois would have been another state with "Vermont carry". Some argue that Judge Posner erred in allowing an unconstitutional law to persist in the interim by continuing his findings to give the Illinois Legislature reasonable time to pass regulatory legislation. It is curious that both professors have vastly different opinions of what is in the U.S. Constitution.

Tam said...


...and now the shyster pounces:

"Oh, I'm sorry sir, I thought you said you were a big fan of the Constitution!

I had assumed that a fan, a student of that document would know that the Supreme Court of the United States of America is the final arbiter of what is and is not constitutional in this nation.

Would you do the ladies and gentlemen of the jury a favor and read these passages I've highlighted here that state their opinion of what is constitutionally permissible when it comes to the regulation of the carrying of guns?"

...and he hands you some lines from Heller to read and the jury thinks you have beclowned yourself.

Matthew said...


"Without this law, Illinois would have been another state with "Vermont carry"."

This statement is, factually, horsepucky.

The court's ruling would simply have removed the overall restriction on carrying concealed, every other gun restriction would remain intact.

The restriction on firearm possession to those Illinois residents with a FOID card would remain. Time, place, and manner restrictions on a municipality by municipality, county by county, home rule city by home rule city, and statewide would remain until challenged one by one and the court's ruling would provide no ammunition for those challenges.

Think there are too many places off limits now? The way the court ruling was written Illinois could have damn-near complied by restricting public carry to a single shot pistol and only allowed you to carry it, effectively, on the sidewalk outside your house (as long as you didn't live within 1,000 feet of a school or -anywhere- else the town, county, city, state decided was a "sensitive place").

Ian Argent said...

In re: the little chicagoes and their AWBs; didn't almost all of them repeal their pistol bans rather than defend them against McDonald? IIRC it was basically Chicago and Morton Grove, with the rest doing an excellent Emily Litella impression.

WV: roHisp 11 - an obscure pistol in an obscure caliber, the roHisp 11 mm had a 100-example production run made before the manufacturing plant collapsed from sheer ennui

BryanP said...

I hope you're right about TN. I have my doubts as that would mean the state giving up another source of revenue. Why yes, I did just renew my permit for another 4 years.

Matthew said...


Is the permit system in Tenn a revenue generator or does it just cover its own costs?

That's another good incremental step, make the permit fees only as much as require to run the system so it can't be used as a revenue source and it becomes easier to do away with it later as no one is "losing money."

Publicola said...

Miss Tam,
I hate to bug ya mid hypothetical pounce, but where exactly in that constitution of which you typed does it grant that the supreme court is the final arbitrator of constitutional matters*?

Were I in ed's hypothetical position I could very easily argue that those (presumed**) passages highlighted in Heller are mere dicta & not binding, with the only relevant part being the declaration of an individual Right & d.c.'s gun owner control scheme crossed the line. Though avoiding beclowning myself would involve Wardrobe Consultant Team 6 at minimum...

* I can't find it. In fact Federalist #78, in part argues against the idea. The court kind-of, sort-of assumed that power in Marbury v Madison, but it's arguable that that move itself was unconstitutional. I'd argue, as Madison & Jefferson did, that the final arbitrator of the constitution is you. & me. & anyone else literate enough to read the text. Messy, yes, but otherwise we'd descend into a de facto oligarch, administered by a bunch of old shamans in spiffy robes.

** Depending of course if you would have highlighted the sections I think you would have highlighted. I'll admit up front I never had any talent at reading the minds of pretty ladies (or I'd have not had to buy so many drinks in my youth), so I is just guestimating what you'd have presented as your supporting text.

Tam said...


That's what I'd respond myself were I in that situation and foolish enough to leave myself open to that line of attack by using "Constitutional Carry" instead of heading it off at the pass by using "Vermont-style Carry".

FWIW, no matter how factually correct our cites, a jury of twelve of our peers is going to think we're one of those "fringe on the flag" kooks simply because the persecutor has a sheepskin from law school and we don't.

Why borrow unnecessary trouble when you can win without it?

Sebastian said...

How does "you and me" being the final arbiters work? How do you make law from the constitutional opinions of 300 million separate individuals? Through our elected representatives? That seems a recipe for having no rights at all, and everything being at the will of legislators.