New Gun Laws and Evanston

Submitted by Lee V. Gaines on Monday, August 12, 2013, at 6:02 am from Evanston NOW

Weeks after Illinois became the last state to pass a concealed carry law, Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, and fellow gun control advocates unpacked the controversial bill for Evanston residents Sunday afternoon.

Raoul, along with the executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Colleen Daley and attending physician in the Division of Child Protective Services, Marjorie Fujara spoke as part of a panel at the Levy Senior Center at an event organized by Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston.

Biss said he’d received some criticism for his choice of speakers – all favor more restrictive gun control measures than those included in the final bill – but said his aim was to foster informative discussion, not heated debate.

Raoul came to the issue – which was accelerated by a federal appeals court ruling which mandated Illinois pass a concealed carry law by July 9 – as a Hyde Park resident who had experienced the affects of gun violence in his own neighborhood.

The lakefront senator, who negotiated on the issue on behalf of gun control advocates, tried to pass his own concealed carry bill but ultimately decided not to put it up for a vote after learning of waning support among fellow legislators.  He described the entire political negotiation as “very, very difficult.”

Though Raoul was not able to achieve all he wanted to accomplish in the bill, he said the final piece of legislation was an “imperfect product in the view of folks on both sides [of this issue].”

Under the final bill, Raoul said license holders are not allowed to carry a concealed weapon in schools, parks, festivals that require a license from a city and on private property. Churches and other places of worship, however, are not included.

When asked by an audience member, Raoul said he’d support legislation to include places of worship, but doubted it would pass. Daley, however, encouraged audience members concerned about the issue to contact their local churches and legislators, convinced that passage of such an amendment was possible.

One area of disappointment for Raoul was the way the bill handled alcohol and guns.

“I don’t think guns and alcohol mix,” he said. Under the final bill, guns are not allowed in taverns or bars, but they are not prohibited in restaurants that serve mostly food – even if alcohol is on the menu.

Daley said her organization did not support the final bill.

“We don’t feel as thought it will keep everyone as safe as we wanted,” she said.

But included in the bill are two restrictive measures Daley supported: universal background checks for all gun purchases and a requirement to report a lost or stolen firearm within 72 hours.

These measures, she said, “will keep people safe.”

Fujara, another gun control advocate, complained of a dearth of research on unintentional shooting deaths in situations where an individual held a concealed carry license. She said current legislation barring this type of research was fueled by the National Rifle Association’s efforts to “normalize” openly carrying guns in public.

Audience members were also invited to pose their questions to the panel.

One person expressed concern about liability, for example, what if someone is shot inside a business that allows concealed carry?

Biss said an amendment to require those with a concealed carry permit to also have liability insurance failed to pass. According to Raoul, under the current bill, common law would preside in such an instance.

What if you have a conceal carry license from another state, does it apply in Illinois?

Biss said a permit from another state would not apply in Illinois, but Raoul added that those license holders just passing through the state are offered protection from persecution.

But can someone obtain a license for concealed carry of an assault weapon?

Both Raoul and Daley said there is a certain degree of ambiguity when it comes to the definition of an assault weapon. Daley said the bill dictates that the weapon must be carried on someone’s person and must also be concealed, meaning it would be unlikely someone would be able to carry an automatic rifle with 100 rounds and still follow the law. Additionally, assault weapons are already banned in Cook County.

Though the bill has passed to the dismay of some advocates on both sides of the issue, future changes to the law are still possible.

“The gun policy debate hasn’t ended in state of Illinois,” Raoul said. “It goes forward.”

Evanston Gun Buyback Set for Dec. 15


12/14/2012 11:47:00 AM
Evanston Gun Buyback Set for Dec. 15
Submitted by the City of Evanston

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Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl announced in November that the City of Evanston will be teaming up with several community organizations to co-sponsor a gun buyback program for Evanston residents. The gun buyback event will be held from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at Christ Temple Missionary Baptist Church located at 1711 Simpson St. in Evanston.

Guns must be unloaded, in operational condition and participants must have proof of Evanston residency. Examples of proof of residency include a piece of mail, Evanston Public Library card, student ID or a government-issued ID.

This is an amnesty-based buyback program and no police enforcement action will be taken as a result of someone turning in a firearm. Participants are encouraged to bring in ammunition, ammunition clips, and magazines, but kept separate from the weapon at all times. Weapons should be transported in the trunk of a vehicle or in an inaccessible area of a van or pickup truck.

There is a two gun limit and participants in the buyback program will receive $100 cash for each firearm. The program will operate on a first come, first served basis and will end at the designated time or when all funds are exhausted.

If an Evanston resident wishes to participate in the gun buyback program, but is unfamiliar or uncomfortable with handling a firearm, they can call 3-1-1 for assistance and an officer will come out to the residence to retrieve the firearm. Amnesty will still apply for this type of request.

If a participant wishes to receive a receipt indicating that the weapon is no longer in their possession for record keeping purposes, they will then be asked for additional information.

In addition to their organizational efforts and $1,000 contribution to the program, the Evanston Community Foundation has established a fund to accept residents’ contributions in support of the program at www.evanstonforever.org or by mail to: Evanston Community Foundation, 1007 Church St. Suite 108 Evanston, IL 60201.

“I would like to thank the Evanston Community Foundation for their efforts in helping organize this important community event along with their generous financial support,” said Mayor Tisdahl. “I would also like to thank Evanston resident Carolyn Murray for suggesting the idea, Northwestern University, the Cherry Family Foundation and NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) Evanston Hospital for their help and most generous financial support that will go far in removing dangerous weapons off our streets and protecting our innocent youth from gun violence.”

“There is no instant or single solution to the problem of gun violence, nor any way to undo the losses we have already suffered. The Foundation has responded to the Mayor’s request for assistance in the hope that our community can decrease residents’ access to guns in moments of anger or fear and that we can demonstrate our shared resolve to prevent violence,” said Sara Schastok, President and CEO of the Evanston Community Foundation.

Northwestern University has donated $10,000, NorthShore Evanston Hospital has donated $1,000 and the Cherry Family Foundation has donated $5,000 to the program.

“We’re pleased to partner with the City of Evanston, the Evanston Community Foundation and others to provide funding for this program,” said Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro. “We appreciate Mayor Tisdahl’s leadership and the work of the Evanston Police Department in their efforts to help keep Evanston safe for everyone, including members of the Northwestern community.”

“We are committed to demonstrating our leadership to preserve and improve human life,” explained Douglas Silverstein, President of NorthShore Evanston Hospital. “In an effort to extend NorthShore’s mission, we applaud and support the City of Evanston’s continuing efforts to prevent violence and ensure a safe community environment for all citizens.”

“The Cherry Family Foundation is responding to the Mayor’s call for the reduction of weapons in order to reduce the potential of violence in the City of Evanston,” said David Cherry.

Firearms are a potential hazard in any home. Firearms can be stolen, used in an accidental shooting or a suicide. When guns are used in criminal attacks, the outcomes are often irreversible and fatal.

Guns are often used to settle disputes. Settling disputes with guns can have a devastating impact on communities and innocent victims. The access and availability of firearms is associated with an increased risk of suicide in the home

City offers $100 per gun in buyback program

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Please help Evanston and Chicago land get rid of guns read this provided by the Evanston Now

Evanston police will hold a gun buyback program on Saturday, Dec. 15, at Christ Temple Missionary Baptist Church, 1711 Simpson St.

Guns brought to the buyback must be unloaded, in operational condition and participants must have proof of Evanston residency. Examples of proof of residency include a piece of mail, Evanston Public Library card, student ID or a government-issued ID.

This is an amnesty-based buyback program and officials say no police enforcement action will be taken as a result of someone turning in a firearm.

The program was announced earlier this fall in the wake of the shooting death of 14-year-old Dajae Coleman.

Cash for Guns flier