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Illinois gun rights group has other gun free zones in sights to be shot down



Thomas R. Machnitzki | Wikimedia via Creative Commons

More gun free zones are in the sights of gun rights activists after the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously shot down one around public parks.

Last week’s ruling from the state’s highest court centered around Julio Chairez, who was charged criminally for having a concealed weapon within 1,000 feet of Virgil Gilman Trail in Aurora.

Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson praised the 7-0 ruling against the 1,000 foot barrier around public parks in state law. He agreed with the court that it was too burdensome for law-abiding citizens to navigate where they could or could not carry a firearm for protection, especially in Chicago, where there are 600 parks.

“There’s actually no place you can go in parts of Chicago that you can be a gun owner and even drive through the place,” Person said.

The ruling written by Chief Justice Lloyd Karmeier said “the most troubling aspect [of the 1,000 feet ban] is the lack of any notification where the 1,000-foot restriction zone starts and where it would end,” the ruling said. “Innocent behavior could swiftly be transformed into culpable conduct if an individual unknowingly crosses into a firearm restriction zone.”

Karmeir’s opinion said the state “conceded that an individual who lives within 1,000 feet of a public park would violate [the law] every time that individual possessed a firearm for self-defense and walked to his or her vehicle parked on a public street.

“To remain in compliance with the law, the State said that the individual would need to disassemble his or her firearm and place it in a case before entering the restricted zone,” the ruling said. “This requirement, however, renders the ability to defend oneself inoperable and is in direct contradiction” with other cases.

There are 23 different areas in Illinois you can’t carry a firearm in Illinois by law, even if you have a concealed carry permit, Pearson said.

“Like schools, like libraries, other 1,000 foot zones,” he said. “And I imagine that those are all going to be declared unconstitutional in a certain amount of time.”

But, Pearson said, there’s just one problem. Someone will have to be charged with violating the law to challenge it.

“We just have to wait for the right case to show up and see what happens,” Pearson said. “Nobody wants to be the guinea pig on purpose.”

The state’s argument in favor of the ban was it was for public health. The unanimous decision said that argument lacked any valid explanation of how the law would achieve that goal and doesn’t survive the heightened scrutiny that applies to burdening Second Amendment rights.

Article By Greg Bishop. For more Illinois News Network content, visit

Illinois News Network, publisher of, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media company dedicated to the principles of transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility in the state of Illinois. INN is Illinois’ pioneering non-profit news brand, offering content from the statehouse and beyond to Illinoisans through their local media of choice and from their digital hub at Springfield Daily was granted republishing permission by INN.


SJ-R writers march for a contract

Thomas Clatterbuck



2007 was the year President George W. Bush sent the “surge” of troops to Iraq, the iPhone was released, and the subprime mortgage bubble popped. It was also when writers at the State Journal-Register (SJR) last got a raise. Even after forming a union in 2012, the newsroom writers are still fighting to get their first contract with GateHouse Media. GateHouse Media is part of the New Media Investment Group, which acquired the SJR in 2007. They are based in Fairport, New York,

Today, members of the local United Media Guild marched to demand a labor contract. Those negotiations are ongoing in St. Louis, and have made some progress. A deal struck last year will guarantee a one percent raise in September of this year, and a 1.75 percent raise in October of next year. The marchers were joined by members of other local labor unions including AFSCME.

The local United Media Guild is part of The NewsGuild-CWA which represents 25,000 journalists and media workers across the nation.

You can see our interviews with Union representatives in the video player above, and watch some of the march in the player below.

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Davis seeks travel arrangement changes inspired by the family of Petty Officer Logan Palmer

Staff Contributor



The loss of any service member in the armed forces is a tragedy. When a service member dies in a combat zone, their remains are either flown home or to Dover Air Force Base. If the family needs transportation to Dover, the Department of Defense (DoD) handles the arrangements. But if the death occurred outside of a combat zone, that does not always happen. Waivers are often granted in these cases, but only by request. Congressmen Davis (R-13) wants to change that.

This issue was highlighted in August 2017, when the USS John McCain struck a merchant ship in the Singapore Strait. Ten US service members died in that accident, including Petty Officer Logan Palmer of Harristown, Illinois. The Palmer family struggled with the DoD bureaucracy, and ultimately relied on outside organizations to arrange travel to Dover.

Davis’ bill, H.R. 5848, would require the DoD to cover the travel arrangements for non-combat deaths without the red tape. Davis said that, “The Department of Defense has assured me that they are working to change this policy now, but a law is necessary to ensure this change remains permanent.”

H.R. 5848 is an amendment to the Fiscal Year (FY) ’19 National Defense Authorization Act, which is expected to pass the House later this week.

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LIVE | Village of Chatham, IL Board Meeting – May 22nd, 2018

Staff Contributor



LIVE | Village of Chatham, IL Board Meeting – May 22nd, 2018

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