Monthly Archives: September 2010

The People of Collinsville avoid the Occupancy Permit Ordiance, but Landlords Still in the Crosshairs – Next Step…..

Collinsville, Illinois Regular Meeting Where Occupancy Ordinance is Defeated

Related story here

This is video from the Collinsville City Council Meeting where the Occupancy and Crime Free Ordinance was abandoned. Many people worked diligently on this issue and much credit to them.

I found this video to be particularly interesting. Some speakers attempt to portray the speakers as being mainly landlords, but if there are so many concerned residents as the proponents of the ordinance suggest then why are they absent from the proceedings, save for a few sycophants?

The “Input from Residents” begins at 27:56

The other speakers appeared in the following order and appeared at the designated times.

Galen Patterson 33:04

Lynne Condellone 37:18

Glenn Roundtree 55:32

Dennis Hellige 56:52

Mr. Hellige is quite the little fascist. He serves on the board and has been trying to get this ordinance passed for some 15 years or so. He accused the landlords of “…trying to make a dime off the residents….” It sounds like Mr. Hellige is describing the methodology of government with its taxes and fees; trying to make a dime off the residents. More information on Mr. Hellige follows:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dennis-hellige/17/433/77
http://www.allbusiness.com/companyprofile/Dennis_Hellige_Properties/E34BAD88C00D56374E2AA19CF43B8D07-1.html

Tami Springer 1:05:33

Ms. Springer is probably the most hilarious one of the bunch. She is obviously a doting council idolater and in need of attention. She is almost, well, childlike. When I say childlike I imply immature. She runs a counter-top shop. Ms. Springer likes the idea of the mayor being the “parent of us”. I’m sorry, but that is a weird and idiotic statement.

All-in-all, an impressive win for the ordinary people who put up a fight to be able to live in their homes and apartments without permission from the City.

Next step…. repeal Collinsville’s home rule status by referendum.

There is a good article on theshriverbrief.org about how arrest record screenings fail to fight crime while impeding fair housing.

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Letter to the Editor of the Belleville News Democrat Regarding Officials Ignoring Criminal Charges Against Police

Letter can be read here. (Taken offline by the Belleville News Democrat)

Links to other relevant pages.

Drop the State’s Attorney a note on their contact page. Refer to this article/website if you will. (This link no longer works thanks to the State’s Attorney’s Office)

If you are serving on a Grand Jury or know of anyone serving on a Grand Jury, please contact me. You have the authority to investigate without permission or direction of the State’s Attorney, when you are faced with allegations of criminal acts. You can investigate, call witnesses, and if you choose, issue indictments. I will avail myself to appearing personally or providing evidence and the original sworn complaints to you.

I suggest not voting for either Mr. Haida or Mr. Baricevic. I am contacted by many who have suffered at the hands of the police and are denied justice because the prosecutors and judges refuse to prosecute. They need violent, corrupt individuals acting as law enforcement to do the State’s bidding. If they begin prosecuting police then a flood-gate will open revealing a systemic system of corruption and abuse that will shake the trust of those still fooled into believing the system exists for their protection.

If you have suffered at the hands of police or have tried to bring charges against someone where the police refused to pursue charges, I can show you how to bring charges yourself. You do not need to go through the police to file criminal charges. The police have no constitutional duty to serve or protect you. If you are tired of being dismissed or ignored, contact me.

Letter:

Judging law enforcers

ELECTION TIME IS right around the corner. Allow me to introduce you to two men who will greet you on the ballot and who, in my opinion, do not deserve to hold any public office. The men to whom I refer are St. Clair County State’s Attorney Bob Haida and Chief Judge John Baricevic.

Why do I hold these men in such low esteem, you may ask? Because these men either do not know the law or refuse to abide by it. They have received sworn notice of criminal acts which consist of felony complaints of official misconduct by Fairview Heights Police. Haida and Baricevic are engaging in malfeasance, misfeasance or both.

The issue is, what do you do when police break the law? Illinois law is clear on what to do, yet, when confronted with the clear, black-and-white duty imposed upon their offices, neither Haida nor Baricevic act or respond. If you take your issue to a police agency you will grow old and die while reviews of “policy” are slowly drawn out and your claims dismissed. The law provides for a remedy, but that is predicated upon your elected officials performing their duties.

If you have suffered at the hands of police, contact me. If you are serving on a grand jury or know of anyone serving on a grand jury, contact me. You can read more by going to http://markmccoy.com/wp/?p=303

Tired of government officials acting as though they are above the law? Contact me.

Mark McCoy

Collinsville

Collinsville Health & Safety/Crime Free Ordinance – An Analysis of Theft by Fear

This piece will focus on the “wording” of the Collinsville Health & Safety/Crime Free Ordinance. SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE

Ordinance Flyer for redistribution – PDF Format

Microsoft Word Document for Redistribution

Contact:

John Miller, Mayor (618) 345-6514  jmiller@collinsvilleil.org

Nancy Moss (618) 345-5329  nmoss@collinsvilleil.org

Liz Dalton (618) 345-4660  ldalton@collinsvilleil.org

Lisa Ciampoli (618) 345-7607  lciampoli@collinsvilleil.org

Jeff Kypta 618-345-0996  jkypta@collinsvilleil.org

You must first ask yourself, why “now”? Collinsville, like most municipalities, has been taxing the “residents” (please avoid using that word if you do not k now the legal meaning) for as long as many can remember, yet, virtually all municipalities are resorting to deceit and quiet-theft to support bloated salaries, benefits, paybacks, political favoritism, corporate benefactors, and a host of other fraudulent endeavors that benefit anyone but the “citizen”. It is a protectionist racket and you, the taxpayers, are the serfs paying tribute to your rulers. Isn’t the system supposed to be created and controlled by the so-called “People”? Then why have the tables turned to where you now look over your shoulder for the next code violation to sap your time, energy, and money?

When you read a piece of legislation, ordinance, statute…. do NOT pretend to understand what it is saying in the language you read. You cannot use a dictionary to interpret such things. Have you noticed that section 8.02.020 of the code is titled “Definitions”? If you are a reasonably educated individual, why would the City need to define such words as “City”, “Person”, “Tenant”….? Do most people not understand what such words mean? Yet, the Code takes deliberate measure to “define” them, not as words, but as “legal terms”. There is a significant difference. The City puts this piece before you knowing you will not dig any deeper to inquire why they define words you presumably already know.

Likewise, they also fail to define words that carry significant relevance to the application and enforcement of the Code. For instance, Section 8.02.050 titled “Fees” states, “All application, inspection, or other fees relating to this Chapter shall be provided for in the Municipal Code, as may be amended.” What “other fees” are they referring to? What does “relating to this Chapter” mean? How many other ordinances “relate” to this Chapter where there is an associated fee that may be impacted? Basically, they have Carte blanche to assess any fees they deem appropriate and you will foot the bill because this was passed.

These are just a few of the concerns you should have over this proposed Ordinance. I will touch on the more significant issues, but I strongly urge you to contact your City Council members and tell them to not vote for the passage of this oppressive Code. They will likely scare you with statistics and reports, but let’s be reasonable; if society is crumbling as they like to purport, do you want to be a captive in your “Code Compliant” home fearful of every person walking the street? This Ordinance is nothing more than a revenue generating measure designed to exploit your fear and ignorance. It is no coincidence that at a time when cities are broke, infrastructure crumbling, and crime rampant (if you believe such things) that this is offered as a panacea to sooth your anxiety. Ask them, what have they done with all the monies confiscated through taxation and fees to-date; and why do we have such problems if they were remotely responsible from the beginning. Governments create circumstances to support statistics with which to frighten you into giving up more liberty for more control and money to line the pockets of the “rulers”.

There is a good article on theshriverbrief.org about how arrest record screenings fail to fight crime while impeding fair housing.

Analysis

Page 1:

Number of issues involving WHEREAS –

“…lacked an effective health and safety code enforcement program to provide for periodic inspection of commercial and residential buildings throughout the City.” – If it has lacked an effective one to this point what makes us believe that this one will be any more effective? What do they mean by “lacking an effective” code? Does that mean it has not been effective in taking more of your money? There is essentially no difference because they refuse to enforce the Codes on the books, but they need a justification for your dollars. This implies that the City, with all the money and resources over the years, has failed to do its job and NOW require this Code to keep you safe. Did they intentionally let things get so bad (which I posit they are not) in order to plea to your insecurities in getting this passed? Honestly, the less power the City has the better.

“…the lack of such a health and safety enforcement program has permitted portions of the City’s commercial and residential housing inventory to become substandard….” – First of all, it is NOT the “City’s” inventory. It belongs to the owners. When did the City assume ownership of this property? Was it the lack of “such a health and safety enforcement…” policy, or was it the lack of enforcement of current Codes that caused the problem? Again, it is the lack of money provided by way of the current Code that is the problem.

“…improving the commercial and residential housing environment throughout the City requires inspection of buildings…” – I say it involves enforcing the Code on the books. Inspection is not necessary. They are making a case that the people are incapable of correcting their own issues and therefore required to spend money on things that are not necessarily a safety issue, but which the City will benefit from by charging for inspections and enforcement. Why now is there a need for this? I’ll tell you, because now they need the pretext to charge the fees.

“…the goal of the Health and Safety Inspection Program is to increase the health, safety, and general welfare of the public while strengthening neighborhoods…” – Excuse me, but the “goal” is to create a pretext for unwarranted searches of people’s homes in order to “cleanse” the City of what it deems “undesirables” and make a tidy sum in the process. How does this Code contribute to the health, safety, or general welfare? Isn’t that the job of the people to determine what is in their best interests? What does a building code have to do in the grand scheme of things in improving such things when it will COST the majority of people more money than they may deem worth their “health, safety, or general welfare”. I can tell you that there will be an incentive to refinance homes at lower rates to pay for code violations. As the values go up so do the property taxes. If you have been holding off on improvements because you are just trying to live, guess what? You will now be needing to come up with money you already to not have in order to satisfy the City. Likewise, if  they can create a “blight” situation by refusing occupancy in areas so as to cause property to decrease in value they will be moving forward with confiscation and resale to one of their most favored “developers”. Debt, taxes, and fees. The blood of government.

“…make housing safe and indirectly reduce crime by preventing the “broken window” syndrome…” – What is a “broken window” syndrome? Where is that defined in the Code and how does it directly relate to safety or crime? Maybe they are hoping to push the burden of enforcement on landlords instead of the police doing the enforcement. Again, added costs to the people. There is NO correlation between such Codes and crime reduction. Belleville has has such a Code for years and look at the crime rate in Belleville. How many gunshots are silenced by their “Code”? I actually Googled “Broken Window Syndrome” and found this information. I think Collinsville is really blowing this our of proportion. Broken Window Syndrome is a theory regarding urban disorder and vandalism. Pretty tall aspirations for little ‘ol Collinsville. Read more here.

Page 2

8.02.030 Definitions

Building – Means virtually ANYTHING with walls and a roof. That is correct. They claim jurisdiction over your storage shed, garage, outhouse….

Page 3

Definitions

Dwelling – Anyplace a human being may stay seeking shelter or comfort. Nowhere you go is safe from their inspection.

Immediate family member – They now need to define what type of private association you can have with others. Look for live-ins and distant relative being removed from your “dwelling”.

Page 4

Definitions

Person – “Means any natural person; firm; joint venture, including all participants; partnership, including all partners; association, social club, or fraternal organization, including all officers and directors; corporation, including all officers, directors and significant stockholders; estate; trust; business trust; receiver; or any other group or combination acting as a unit.” – Wow! Where do you fall into that list? Are you a “natural person”? Did you know that corporations are also considered “natural persons” in some instances? Think very hard about what they are saying. Do not assume anything. Generally, when used in legislation, a “natural person” is a flesh-and-blood individual, but one who is charged by law with a duty or obligation. Usually one of a fiduciary nature. It does NOT, in the normal parlance of the word, define the common man.

Page 7

8.02.060 Applications for Health and Safety Permit

C. Any Health and Safety Permit issued by the City shall not be deemed a release or waiver by the City of any requirement for compliance with all applicable sections of this Code, nor shall it constitute a guarantee that no Code violations exist. Issuance of any Health and Safety Permit shall not restrain or prohibit the City from making further inspection of the dwelling unit and giving notice of any violation of this Code at anytime, notwithstanding the validity of a Health and Safety Permit. – In other words, do not believe for a moment that because a “dwelling” has a permit it is safe. The City does not guarantee it has caught all possible violations and therefore you could still be at risk. They are too  incompetent to guarantee they are keeping you safe, even though they want the power and money to make you believe you are. If they do fail to catch some violations, whether intentionally or not, they claim the power to keep coming back again, and again, and again… until they get it right, which they cannot guarantee they will. Just pay the fee and cherish your false sense of security.

Page 9

8.02.100 Inspections Authorized; Right of Entry

This will take quite a bit of time, but in essence, you are guaranteed a minimal 4th Amendment protection. Possessing the Permit gives them additional authority to violate many aspects of the 4th Amendment because you have essentially given them permission when you applied for and received the permit. The best advice is, if you cherish your privacy and 4th Amendment protection, is to not apply for the permit and stand your ground in court.

Page 12

8.02.210 Crime Free Housing Program

A. and B. – The City is now in the business of registering landlords. What relation to health, safety, and welfare do landlords possess differently from other people? They are saying that landlords pose an increased crime risk. If this is the case, why don’t they just outlaw landlords altogether?

Page 14

8.02.230 Certificate Duration

D. All persons applying… shall submit an affidavit stating that for all leases, commencing after the effective date…they will utilize a Crime Free Lease Addendum or have clauses in all leases substantially the same as a Crime Free Lease Addendum, as further related in this Code. – They are imposing a legal duty upon the landlords which carries pains of perjury (affidavit) for failing to use the City’s language (Crime Free Lease Addendum) which has not been disclosed or made public. They are attempting to write lease agreements for landlords. If they had the power to do this it would be done through statute or law, but they don’t So, they are forcing the landlords to sign affidavits stating they will use the City’s Lease Addendum language in their leases. I say that the landlords should arrest any tenants they see breaking the law rather than calling the police if they want to control crime. How do you arrest someone if  you are a private individual? Read this. I think it would be more responsible if the landlords knew how to effect a citizens arrest and police their own properties. Since the police can’t guarantee, nor be responsible, for anyone’s safety the landlords have just as much right to arrest for crimes directly witnessed by themselves. People have a common law right to make an arrest if they personally witness a crime. However, this is not for things like vehicle or traffic offenses or ordinance violations. Real crimes are those which involve violence or harm to another or their property. Most “offenses” are NOT crimes.

Page 15

8.02.270 Crime Free Lease Addendum

A. Any owner or property agent entering into leases…shall utilize a Crime Free Lease Addendum or have a clause in the lease substantially the same as the Crime Free Lease Addendum… The Crime Free Lease Addendum shall make criminal activity a lease violation and shall specify that criminal activity shall include, but is not limited to violent criminal activity or drug related criminal activity engaged in by, facilitated by, or permitted by the tenant, a member of the household, guest or other party under the control of the tenant. – This is essentially imposing a penalty upon landlords to adopt language promulgated by the City, of which there is no mention of in the Code as far as verbiage, and creating lease violations out of undefined acts. This section is so ambiguous and arbitrary so as to be almost laughable if it weren’t so serious. First of all, how can the City dictate to the landlords what they will put into private contracts between themselves and their tenants and then to impose an enforcement duty upon the landlords to interpret what “criminal activity” is? Does it mention whether or not the activity is supported by a finding of guilt in a court of law (there’s a joke) or if it is merely the accusation of criminal activity? Who is empowered to determine what “criminal activity” is? Can anyone make an accusation that criminal activity is being engaged in by a tenant and therefore impose eviction proceedings upon that tenant at the landlord’s expense? It states that it “shall include, but is not limited to”. No limits? So the City can add criminal activities to this list as it sees fit to fabricate out of thin air? Also, what is “engaged in by, facilitated by, or permitted by the tenant…. or other party under the control of the tenant”? Where are the limits on this? How are landlords supposed to control tenants who are then to control “other parties”? This language is insane and essentially creates a prison out of rental property with the landlord becoming the warden and tenants as inmates.

8.02.280 Crime Free Housing Seminar

A. As scheduled from time to time by the City, any owner of residential rental…shall attend and complete a City of Collinsville Crime Free Housing Program Seminar… – So now, the City will schedule training for landlords and if that landlord is out of town, on a job… they will have to avail themselves to training by the City. Who is going to pay for this training and the facilities? How many classes will they offer and what if every landlord is unable to attend when they offer the schedule? Since when were people subject to any scheduling requirements for attending training by the City? Is this where the landlords are “deputized” or just brainwashed and intimidated into doing the City’s bidding? Will the City impose unreasonable duties upon them and under such training, if the landlords acts in good-faith but is then subjected to a lawsuit by a tenant he believed he was taking lawful action against, will the City hold harmless and indemnify the landlord? Will the City hold harmless and indemnify the landlords for possible violations of contracts and rights by using the Lease Addendum? Is the City not deflecting some of the liability for possible unlawful acts upon the landlords for which they will be personally liable?

SUMMARY

What the City is intending to do is create an inroad to surveillance and control of the people by way of these permits. Do not think for a moment that when your home is “inspected” they are not looking for other violations for which to punish you. Maybe they will determine  your children look underfed or inadequately dressed. Maybe you will have something lying about which they will observe and infer criminal activity from. Maybe they will take note of your demeanor and keep an eye on you. This is big brother, no doubt about it. There were stories a few years ago about people in Belleville waking up in their beds to find inspectors in their homes. How can this happen? Because once you have the City’s permit your protections drop dramatically. This is Police State.

People have to work together or government will deem you all incompetent and stand in for you. The statistics they use are not facts, they are scientific opinions which are skewed. People who live near rental property should approach the landlords with their concerns and the landlords should be responsive. People should be reasonable. If this is a pretext to ethnic cleansing then let them come with guns and tanks and clean house like they would prefer, but do not force the people under threat of harm and punishment to open their doors and lives to the City. This Code will protect no one, but it will bestow the City with much more power at the cost of your constitutional protections.

Also, do not engage them in a debate over your Constitutional Rights. There are no such things. Constitutions do not give you any rights. Rights belong to you by way of you being a flesh-and-blood human being and your Creator, God…whatever you believe. As long as you harm no one there is no crime. The City or the State cannot fabricate crimes out of thin air. Disobeying an unjust command from a tyrant is not a crime, it is a duty.

I suggest people deluge the City with phone calls and pack the council chambers. If this passes, I recommend the landlords and everyone else to not comply. It will be scary at first, but the last line of defense is people sticking together. I also suggest you familiarize yourself with the concept of jury nullification. If called to sit on a jury over someone who merely disobeyed the City, regardless of the evidence, vote not guilty if there was no victim.

This Code is just a stepping stone to more oppressive controls and fear mongering. They can guarantee NO greater safety as they make no guarantee for the permits they issue. It is all mind control and perception. The reality is, more control for them and less freedom for you.

Furthermore, since this is all about forcing the landlords act as a law enforcement arm of government, under the pretense of you feeling safer, remember this; the police have NO duty to protect anyone and there is no recourse if they fail to do so. Here are a few cases where the courts have held that the police are not for your protection:

THE POLICE HAVE NO DUTY TO PROTECT INDIVIDUALS!

“Protect and to serve”, is as binding as “Good to the Last Drop”: IT IS ONLY A SLOGAN as the following court rulings clearly indicate:

Bowers v. DeVito, 686 F.2d 616 (7th Cir. 1982) (no federal constitutional requirement that police provide protection)

Calogrides v. Mobile, 475 So. 2d 560 (Ala. 1985); Cal Govt. Code 845 (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Davidson v. Westminster, 32 Cal.3d 197, 185, Cal. Rep. 252; 649 P.2d 894 (1982) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Stone v. State 106 Cal.App.3d 924, 165 Cal Rep. 339 (1980) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Morgan v. District of Columbia, 468 A.2d 1306 (D.C.App. 1983) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C.App 1981) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Sapp v. Tallahassee, 348 So.2d 363 (Fla. App. 1st Dist.), cert. denied 354 So.2d 985 (Fla. 1977); Ill. Rec. Stat. 4-102 (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Keane v. Chicago, 98 Ill. App.2d 460, 240 N.E.2d 321 (1st Dist. 1968) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Jamison v. Chicago, 48 Ill. App. 3d 567 (1st Dist. 1977) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Simpson’s Food Fair v. Evansville, 272 N.E.2d 871 (Ind. App.) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Silver v. Minneapolis, 170 N.W.2d 206 (Minn. 1969) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Wuetrich V. Delia, 155 N.J. Super. 324, 326, 382, A.2d 929, 930 cert. denied 77 N.J. 486, 391 A.2d 500 (1978) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Chapman v. Philadelphia, 290 Pa. Super. 281, 434 A.2d 753 (Penn. 1981) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

Morris v. Musser, 84 Pa. Cmwth. 170, 478 A.2d 937 (1984) (no liability for failure to provide police protection)

SOLUTIONS

The Illinois Constitution sets the rules for home rule municipalities. It states:

SECTION 6. POWERS OF HOME RULE UNITS (a) A County which has a chief executive officer elected by the electors of the county and any municipality which has a population of more than 25,000 are home rule units. Other municipalities may elect by referendum to become home rule units. Except as limited by this Section, a home rule unit may exercise any power and perform any function pertaining to its government and affairs including, but not limited to, the power to regulate for the protection of the public health, safety, morals and welfare; to license; to tax; and to incur debt.

(b) A home rule unit by referendum may elect not to be a home rule unit.

In my opinion, this is the first place the people of Collinsville should start. Repealing home rule. Collinsville undertook a special census for which to establish the requisite 25,000 residents needed for home rule. They claim to have 25,300. Just meeting the limit, which I posit is exaggerated. I did not participate in the census and at that time I urged others not to as well. My warnings were dismissed and hence, home rule and the power of the City to do as it pleases with only 3 votes required. Since there is a 5 member council, a majority vote consists of 3 which puts the people of Collinsville under the whim of such a small number. Not a good thing.

I suggest a petition to place on a ballot for referendum, the removal of home rule status for Collinsville. That will do a few things. It will reduce the power of the City to that which is authorized by the Legislature and the Constitution as well as protecting the people through the application of “Dillon’s Rule”, which puts the emphasis on the rights of the citizen against the City. Before anything else is done, I urge the people to repeal home rule status via referendum. This will preemptively solve many of the present and planned problems facing many of the people in Collinsville.

Second, I strongly suggest the people become familiar with Jury Nullification. As a last resort, when our fellow citizens are hauled into court for disobeying an unjust law, ordinance, or statute, it is the right of the jury and jurors to vote “not guilty” without having to explain anything to anyone, even if the evidence shows there was in-fact a violation. There are many unjust laws on the books which define no victim other than the sensibilities of the State. The people pay for courts, judges, prosecutors…etc. to prosecute these victimless crimes. People need to start refusing to convict and the State may stop prosecuting such nonsense should it turn out to be unprofitable.  Getting unjust laws overturned is almost impossible. Government does not return power once it has taken it. Juries are the last line of defense in stopping the tyranny. It takes only 1 juror to save their fellow-man.

Lastly, I suggest the more principled council-persons to propose ordinances or resolutions which recognize the sovereignty of the people and their inalienable rights. Government does not like to even discuss such matters, and having such on the books helps those who are assailed by the City by having a recognized superiority. This is probably not going to happen soon. It would take a strong, resolute individual to propose and argue for such and I can assure they would be ostracized. That said, more council-persons need to be “outsiders” to their peers and stand on basic principles of fairness, justice, and submission to the people who allegedly divest themselves of sovereignty in the name of having their rights protected as opposed to diminished.

Feel free to contact me.

Mark McCoy

Illinois Constitutional Convention

What to expect:

Illinois is ready for a new constitution. The time is right for a constitutional convention. Our present Illinois Constitution has failed us miserably, and has allowed government to creep into almost every aspect of our lives. Through this website I hope to garner enough interest in having the people call for a constitutional convention, and also to point out the inherent weaknesses in our present document. We need a total re-write of our constitution. Our republic has been slowly eroding away, thanks to our so-called leaders, lawyers, judges and ignorance. I hope to stop that erosion. This site will be in development constantly, so visit often to keep apprised of updates and events. In-short, here is where the new Illinois Constitution begins, and the tyranny of the past ends.

I will be seeking the People’s vote in becoming a delegate to the constitutional convention. I believe that my knowledge and understanding of our constitution, as well as the shortcomings and failings of the present one, will afford me the opportunity to serve in forming a new constitution that will have the necessary wording to avoid any ambiguity in drawing well-defined limits for government, while leaving everything not defined to the People. I am not a parchment idolater. I do not look to the artifices of mischievous, self-aggrandizing men in seeking to understand the boundaries of my freedom. Such contrivances are the ruminations of oligarchic elitists who pander to our patriotism, exploit our ignorance, and cultivate our fear. I am a stalwart of natural rights and natural law.

There can be expected to be many who decry a new Illinois Constitution. The opposition from the people-at-large will be infinitesimal. However, there will be such an effort consolidated amongst associations, industries, organizations, and bureaucracies so as to lend to the perception that this government exists merely as a protectionist racket for monopolistic corporatism. It is this consolidation of money, power, and influence that has tantalized the elected servants of the people; and thus, having basked in their incestuous patrimony of corruption and privilege, devise ever more clever ways of causing the people to vie for the scraps from their tables.

I predict that much, if not all of the opposition, will come from Chicago. Chicago is a bastion of corruption, power, and money. The problems inherent in such an urban environment set the tone for other communities in Illinois. Let’s face it. Chicago pretty much runs Illinois. Whether it’s political corruption, nazi-like police tactics, crime, corporate protectionism…. Chicago picks the playlist we all dance to.  Chicago should be either ceded to the federal government as an enclave of socialist fermentation, or there needs to be a provision in the constitution that provides for special circumstances to address large metropolitan units possessing particular problems that require people to relinquish their personal liberty in favor of privileges. I predict that an effluent consisting of constitutional law attorneys, academics, and displaced philosophes waxing Hobbs and social utility will attempt to sweep away pro-convention constructionists, sovereigns, and natural rights proponents who exhibit the audacity to tinker with the constitution.

Before embarking upon another constitutional convention, we should reflect back on, not where the other constitutions were inadequate, but where we were so neglectful, indifferent, apathetic, and greedy as to allow ourselves to be subjugated and patronized as though we were catatonic troglodytes meandering aimlessly in search for a sovereign to protect us and compel our allegiance. We must once again assert that we are the true sovereigns. Government possesses no inherent sovereignty. We allow it only to exercise what limited sovereignty we bestow upon it to effect our just and lawful ends. Let those who wish to submit do so, but let the rest who refuse to be ruled retain the recourse and the means with which to repel any governmental aggression. So where do we go from here?

First, I will go through the text of the previous constitutions of Illinois and explain how they reflect the People’s intent to form a limited government. I will also identify significant political milestones that would later be reflected in Illinois changing constitution; milestones that were not necessarily in maintaining state sovereignty and autonomy.

Second, I will breakdown our present Illinois Constitution with a comparative analysis between it and the original, along with annotations and case law.

Third, I will provide wording for a new constitution along with annotations for why I chose such wording.

After all is said and done, I hope to convince the People that they should demand a constitutional convention; elect me as a delegate; and demand the wording I offer for the new Illinois Constitution. This is a fairly daunting and exhaustive task for one man. I will be updating this site as I progress, so please make it a point to visit often. I will also be asking for the People’s input and comments to my efforts. Remember, this is merely a constitution. It is the blueprint, the organic law for that legal fiction, the mischievous artifice called government. It’s purpose is limited and specific. It can be destroyed as easily as it can be created. The people lending themselves to the animation of agencies, officers, and bureaucrats are flesh-and-blood. They may call themselves authorities, sovereigns, governors, but they are people in costume playing to your indoctrinated consent for them to act through your abdication of power.

Case Law, Court Rulings, Interpretation

Case Law, Court Rulings, Interpretation

Brown v. City of Chicago
42 Ill.2d 501, 250 N.E.2d 129
Ill. 1969.
May 28, 1969

42 Ill.2d 501, 250 N.E.2d 129
Supreme Court of Illinois.
Joseph I. BROWN, Jr., et al., Appellants,
v.
The CITY OF CHICAGO et al., Appellees.
No. 41550.
May 28, 1969.

L. Louis Karton, Chicago, for appellants.

Raymond F. Simon, Corp. Counsel, Chicago (Marvin E. Aspen and Robert J. Collins, Asst. Corp. Counsel, Edmund Hatfield, Chicago, Ill., of counsel), for appellees.

KLINGBIEL, Justice.
This case involves the constitutional validity of two Chicago ordinances regulating the possession of firearms and requiring their registration. Three individuals and a sporting goods store brought suit in the circuit court of Cook County to enjoin the City and its officials from enforcing them. On motion of defendants the complaint was stricken and the cause dismissed. Plaintiffs appeal.

The ordinances became effective April 15, 1968, and appear as Chapters 11.1 and 11.2 of the Municipal Code of Chicago, Chapter 11.1 pertains to the registration of firearms. It requires detailed records to be kept when a firearm is sold or given away, including full identification of the firearm as well as the person to whom it is sold or given. A *503 registration form must be completed and mailed to the office of the city collector within 48 hours. Persons who have acquired their firearms prior to the date of the ordinances are also required to register possession. The city collector is then to forward to the possessor or purchaser a registration certificate with full identifying information, which must be carried with the firearm and exhibited on request of any police officer. Certain classes of persons are declared ineligible to register, including minors under 18-years-of-age, narcotic addicts, felons, and mental defectives, and all such persons are forbidden to have firearms. Chapter 11.2, relating to the possession of guns, makes it unlawful for any person to carry a rifle, shotgun, or other firearm except in his home or place of business. The chapter is made inapplicable to peace officers and other authorized classes enumerated therein.

To sustain their charge of invalidity plaintiffs employ a ‘shotgun’ technique, alleging a dozen different grounds therefor in addition to claiming that the ordinances will not achieve their object of reducing crime. In substance the principal contentions are that the City lacks power to legislate with regard to gun control because the State has pre-empted the field, that the ordinances violate the provisions of the Federal constitution concerning the right of the people to keep and bear arms, that they **131 are vague, confusing and inconsistent with the statute on the subject, that they unlawfully delegate legislative power to the city collector and contravene the doctrine of separation of powers, and that they constitute an unreasonable exercise of police power.

[1] With regard to the first contention it is suggested that whatever power the City had to regulate firearms has been repealed by implication by an act effective July 1, 1968. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1967, ch. 38, par. 83-1 et seq.) The argument is without merit. The statute does not require the registration of weapons, as does the Chicago registration ordinance.*504 Rather it deals with registration of the individual owner of firearms. Its declared purpose merely is ‘to provide a system of identifying persons who are not qualified to acquire or possess firearms and firearm ammunition * * *.’ (Ill.Rev.Stat.1967, ch. 38, par. 83-1.) Unlike the registration certificate for which the ordinance provides, the identification cards required by the Act do not even refer to or identify particular weapons. There is no inconsistency or repugnancy between the two, and the legislature has not pre-empted the field of gun control. As this court said in Kizer v. City of Mattoon, 332 Ill. 545, 549, 164 N.E. 20, 22: ‘While municipal ordinances must be in harmony with the general laws of the state, and in case of a conflict the ordinance must give way, the mere fact that the state has legislated upon a subject does not necessarily deprive a city of power to deal with the subject by ordinance. Police regulations enacted by a city under a general grant of power may differ from those of the state upon the same subject, provided they are not inconsistent therewith.’ See, also Chicago Cosmetic Co. v. City of Chicago, 374 Ill. 384, 29 N.E.2d 495.

[2] Also invoked is the second amendment to the United States constitution, which says that ‘(a) well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’ Contentions that this right precludes firearm regulation and control have been answered both in this State (Biffer v. City of Chicago, 278 Ill. 562, 116 N.E. 182), and, more recently, elsewhere. (Burton v. Sills, 53 N.J. 86, 248 A.2d 521.) They need not be dealt with again here. As the opinion in the Burton case points out, regulation which does not impair the maintenance of the State’s active, organized militia is not in violation of either the terms or the purposes of the second amendment.

[3] [4] Plaintiffs argue that the definition of ‘firearms’ in the ordinances is broader than the one in the statute, and that even though a person obeys all the requirements of the latter *505 he will not necessarily be protected thereby from prosecution for violating the ordinances. This does not constitute a valid objection. As we have indicated, the statute and the ordinances have differing objectives. Nor is there merit in objections that the definition includes parts of a weapon, that the ordinances are vague and indefinite, that they duplicate other ordinances, that they are inconsistent with statutes on the subject, that during the 30-day period which the city collector is given to forward the registration certificate the owner may be penalized for not having one, and that in other enumerated respects the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights are violated. We find no merit at all in these multiple criticisms, and no useful purpose would be served by discussing them in detail.

[5] Included in the registration ordinance’s definition of firearms which must be registered is a ‘firearm silencer’. By statute it is made a crime to possess such a device (Ill.Rev.Stat.1967, ch. 38, par. 24-1(a)(6).) The circuit court held that the part of the ordinance relating to silencers is unconstitutional, on the ground that it violates the privilege against self-incrimination, but that the remainder of the ordinance is not thereby invalidated. Plaintiffs here urge the court erred in not declaring**132 that the entire ordinance was therefore void. We cannot accept the argument. The portion relating to firearm mufflers or silencers is clearly severable from the other provisions, and it can hardly be said that the latter would not have been passed if silencers had not been included.

[6] The fact that a part is unconstitutional does not require that the remainder be held void unless all the provisions are so connected as to depend upon each other. If what remains after the invalid portion is stricken is complete in itself and capable of being executed wholly independently of that which is rejected, the invalid portion does not render void the entire ordinance unless it can be said that the city council would not have passed it with the invalid portion eliminated. *506 (People ex rel. Engle v. Kerner, 32 Ill.2d 212, 205 N.E.2d 33; People ex rel. Adamowski v. Wilson, 20 Ill.2d 568, 170 N.E.2d 605; McDougall v. Lueder, 389 Ill. 141, 58 N.E.2d 899, 156 A.L.R. 1059.) That the remaining provisions in the case at bar are complete in themselves and would have been passed even with the silencer portion eliminated is too clear for further discussion.

[7] The registration ordinance requires a seller to maintain a register containing the date of sale, the name, address, age, physical description and occupation of the purchaser, the price of the firearm, its description and serial number, the purpose for which it is obtained, the permit number and ‘other relevant information deemed necessary by the City Collector.’ It is claimed that the quoted phrase is an unlawful delegation of legislative power to the city collector, and unlawfully confers upon a member of the executive department the discretion to determine what additional information the citizen shall produce.

[8] The position cannot be sustained. The discretion is not to be construed as being uncontrolled. It can be exercised only within limits which are relevant to the purpose of identification and is, we think, subject to adequate standards. Absolute criteria whereby every detail necessary in the enforcement of a law is anticipated need not be set forth in the ordinance itself. While a legislative body cannot delegate its general power to determine what the law shall be, it may delegate to others the authority to do those things which it might properly do itself but cannot do as understandingly or advantageously. (Hill v. Relyea, 34 Ill.2d 552, 216 N.E.2d 795.) The city collector in administering the ordinance is in a position to determine more advantageously when and what further descriptive information is needed. In doing so he is not exercising a legislative power as contemplated by the separation-of-powers article in the constitution.

[9] Each of the ordinances provides that any person violating its provisions shall be fined $500. The plaintiffs contend that this ‘mandatory’ penalty infringes on the function of *507 the judiciary to determine the punishment, in contravention of the separation-of-powers requirement contained in Article III of the Illinois constitutions, S.H.A. We cannot agree. The sum provided for is within the limits of the power conferred by statute (Ill.Rev.Stat.1967, ch. 24, par. 1-2-1), and the mere fact that the maximum penalty is imposed in any case does not make the ordinances void. City of Arcola v. Wilkinson, 233 Ill. 250, 84 N.E. 264.

[10] Plaintiffs argue at length that strict gun laws do not tend to reduce crime, and statistics and excerpts from reports of surveys are quoted to show that legal restrictions are easily circumvented by experienced criminals. The shameful fact is pointed out that it is unsafe to walk alone at night in many neighborhoods and parks, and it is suggested that firearms might often be necessary for self-protection. These arguments, whatever validity they might have, are not appropriately addressed to this court. They relate to matters of legislative instead of judicial concern, and **133 bear on the advisability of the present provisions rather than on their validity.

We have carefully considered the plaintiffs’ arguments and contentions, many of which consist in little more than bare statements that particular aspects contravene due process or some other constitutional provision, but find them without sufficient merit to warrant further discussion. The circuit court of Cook County was correct insofar as it upheld the ordinances and dismissed the complaint. The judgment will be affirmed.

Judgment affirmed.

Ill. 1969.
Brown v. City of Chicago,
42 Ill.2d 501, 250 N.E.2d 129

Pierce v. State
42 Okla.Crim. 272, 275 P. 393
Okla.Crim.App. 1929.
March 16, 1929

42 Okla.Crim. 272, 275 P. 393
Criminal Court of Appeals of Oklahoma.
PIERCE v STATE.
No. A-6407.
March 16, 1929.

Syllabus by the Court.

C. B. Leedy and L. E. Moyer, Jr., both of Arnett, for plaintiff in error.

Edwin Dabney, Atty. Gen., and J. H. Lawson, Asst. Atty. Gen., for the State.

CHAPPELL, J.
The plaintiff in error, hereinafter referred to as defendant, was tried in Ellis county, Okl., on the 9th day of August, 1926, upon an information filed in the county court charging the defendant with unlawfully, willfully, and wrongfully carrying upon and about his (the said Fritz Pierce’s) person, a Colt’s automatic revolver, without authority of law, and contrary to the statute in such cases made and provided.

The defendant was found guilty, and was sentenced to pay a fine of $25, from which judgment of the court the defendant appeals.

The facts as disclosed by the evidence of the state are: That J. A. Hanley, Mr. Devenney, and Mr. Thoroughman had gone to the premises of the defendant for the purpose of searching the premises for a still. The officers had a search warrant to search the premises of the defendant, and, upon their *394 arrival at the premises of the defendant, the defendant came to the door and had a gun on his person, on his right side in the top of his pants, stuck down under his belt, extending inside of his trousers, about half of the gun being visible. That this was an automatic revolver, about a .38. That, during the time the officers were present on the premises of the defendant, the defendant came out in the yard with his gun, and made trips into the house and out into the yard at different times during the time the search was being made. At the time the officers were ready to leave, one of the officers took the gun off the person of the defendant. No effort was made by the defendant to use the gun, but he claimed that he had the gun because he had heard that he was liable to be robbed, and that he had some money about his premises, and that he purchased the gun and kept it for the purpose of protecting himself against any intruders who might attempt to rob him.

[1] There is but one question raised in the brief of the defendant, and that question is whether or not, under the Constitution and laws of the state of Oklahoma, the defendant had a right to carry a gun on his person while in his own house and yard.

The defendant in his brief states his allegation of error in the following language: “All assignments will be considered in one assignment. That under the Constitution (Bill of Rights) Sec. 26, of Article 2, the defendant committed no offense, and the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction.”

This contention presents squarely to this court the question of whether the Constitution and laws of the state of Oklahoma prevent any person from carrying any pistol, revolver, bowie knife, dirk knife, loaded cane, billy, metal knuckles, or any other offensive or defensive weapon on his person while in his house or in the curtilage of his premises, and whether he may be convicted and punished for the act under the Constitution and laws of this state.

Section 26, article 2, of the Constitution of Oklahoma, reads as follows: “The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons.”

The defendant is prosecuted under section 1992, C. O. S. 1921, which provides as follows: “It shall be unlawful for any person in the State of Oklahoma to carry upon or about his person any pistol, revolver, bowie-knife, dirk-knife, loaded-cane, billy, metal knuckles, or any other offensive or defensive weapon, except as in this article provided.”

Section 1994, C. O. S. 1921, provides: “Public officers while in the discharge of their duties or while going from their homes to their place of duty or returning therefrom shall be permitted to carry arms, but at no other time and under no other circumstances: Provided, however, that if any public officer be found carrying such arms while under the influence of intoxicating drinks, he shall be demed guilty of a violation of this article as though he were a private person.”

Section 1995, C. O. S. 1921, provides: “Persons shall be permitted to carry shot-guns or rifles for the purpose of hunting, having them repaired, or for killing animals, or for the purpose of using the same in public muster or military drills, or while traveling or removing from one place to another and not otherwise.”

The defendant does not come within any of the exceptions mentioned in such statutes.

In the case of Ex parte Thomas, 1 Okl. Cr. 210, 97 P. 260, 20 L. R. A. (N. S.) 1007, in the syllabus of the case, this court held: “The provisions of the Statutes of Oklahoma (Sections 2502, 2503, Wilson’s Rev. & Ann. St. Okla. 1903) prohibiting the carrying of the weapons therein set out are not repugnant to each other, or violative of section 26 of article 2 of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of Oklahoma, but the valid provisions of such statutes extended to and put in force in the state by the provisions of section 21 of the enabling act (Act June 16, 1906, c. 3335, 34 Stat. 277) and section 2 of the Schedule of the Constitution.”

The body of the opinion enlarges and discusses at length the right to carry a pistol or a concealed weapon. The court says the question now arises: “Is a pistol the character of arms in contemplation of the constitutional convention and of the people of the state when they declared that the right of a citizen ‘to carry and bear arms,’ etc., ‘shall never be prohibited.’ We hold that it is not, and most of the states where it has been passed upon support us in this conclusion. Bishop on Statutory Crimes, § 793; Andrews v. State, 3 Heisk. (Tenn.) 165, 8 Am. Rep. 8; Fife v. State, 31 Ark. 455, 25 Am. Rep. 556; English v. State, 35 Tex. 473, 14 Am. Rep. 374; Aymette v. State, 2 Humph. (Tenn.) 154; Hill v. State, 53 Ga. 472; City of Salina v. Blaksley, 72 Kan. 230, 83 P. 619, 3 L. R. A. (N. S.) 168, 115 Am. St. Rep. 196, 7 Ann. Cas. 925.”

In Mathews v. State (Okl. Cr. App.) 244 P. 56, the court said:

“The provisions of the statutes of Oklahoma (sections 1991, 1992, C. O. S. 1921), prohibiting the carrying of the weapons therein set out, are not violative of section 26 of article 2 (Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Oklahoma.”

“The evidence is brief, and is, in substance, that the defendant is a practicing attorney of Payne county; that at the time the offense is charged the defendant appeared before a justice of the peace at Stillwater as attorney for *395 some persons in that court, and at the time had in his right-hand coat pocket a revolver, the barrel of which protruded through the pocket and was exposed. The defendant admitted that he carried the pistol as alleged, * * * and that he carried the pistol for his protection. The contention is advanced that, under section 26 of the Bill of Rights of the state Constitution, he had a right to carry the pistol for his protection. This section of the Constitution is as follows: The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons.’ The prosecution was conducted under section 1991, Comp. Stat. 1921, which is: ‘It shall be unlawful for any person in the state of Oklahoma to carry concealed on or about his person, saddle or saddle bags, any pistol, revolver, bowie-knife, dirk, dagger, slungshot, sword-cane, spear, metal knuckles or any other kind of knife or instrument manufactured or sold for the purpose of defense, except as in this article provided.’ The Supreme Court had occasion to construe this statute in the case of Ex parte Thomas, 1 Okl. Cr. 210, 97 P. 260, 20 L. R. A. (N. S.) 1007, in which case it was held that the right to bear arms, as provided by section 26 of the Constitution, supra, has reference to arms of a military character, such arms as are used for purposes of war, and does not prevent the Legislature from prohibiting the carrying of weapons such as may be concealed about the person and used in private quarrels, and which do not contribute to the common defense; that the Legislature, in the exercise of the police power of the state, without any infringement of the constitutional rights of the citizens, may prohibit and punish the promiscuous carrying of arms. That case was approved and followed by this court in the case of Beard v. State, 7 Okl. Cr. 154, 122 P. 941. We adhere to the principles of law announced in those cases.”

In 40 Cyc. pp. 856 to 864, inclusive, in discussing “Place and Manner of Carrying,” we have this language: “Under statutes making it an element of the offense of carrying a weapon that it be carried on or about the person, it is so carried when it is in the hand or clothing of accused, or in a basket carried in his hand, or upon or under the seat of the vehicle in which he is riding, but not when it is in some other part of the vehicle. It is immaterial what locality a person is in when carrying a weapon, except where the statute expressly allows one to carry a weapon on his own premises or about his place of business, or except where it is a distinct statutory offense to carry a weapon to certain public places, assemblies, or gatherings. Neither is it material that the time and distance the weapon is carried is short, where it is wholly within the possession of accused during that time.”

Section 40 of article 5 of the Constitution of Oklahoma provides: “The Legislature shall provide for organizing, disciplining, arming, maintaining, and equipping the Militia of the State.”

[2] Herein is shown clearly that the Constitution contemplates the maintenance of a militia, and, taking this in connection with the other provisions and the views expressed by the courts from whose decisions we have quoted and the history of and ends to be attained by the arms-bearing provisions, we believe there is no room for doubt that the arms defendant had a right to bear, and which right could never be prohibited him, relates solely to such arms as are recognized in civilized warfare and not those used by the ruffian, brawler, or the assassin.

[3] Under article 2, § 26 (Bill of Rights), of the Constitution of Oklahoma, the Legislature has power to not only prohibit the carrying of concealed or unconcealed weapons described in sections 1991, 1992, C. O. S. 1921, but also has the power to even prohibit the ownership or possession of such arms. Some of the states under similar constitutional provisions have prohibited the ownership, but the Legislature of Oklahoma has not seen fit to go that far. As the law now is in this state, a person may lawfully own and possess any of the weapons named in sections 1991, 1992, and may move such weapons from room to room in their place of residence, but may not wear them on their person and transport them about the yard as shown by the evidence to have been done by the defendant in this case.

[4] In the trial of the case, the defendant testified substantially as follows: “That he was a single man living alone, and a friend of his told him that three fellows, which were named, intended to rob or hi-jack him, and that he purchased this pistol about six weeks before the officers came down to search, and had the pistol on his person, but had never carried it off his premises, that this was his only home, had lived at this place over a year, and owned other lands, but rented the lands out, that this place was a rented place, with only a house and small yard. That Jess Miles told him, that Boyd wanted Miles to help hijack defendant, and defendant says he always had about $100.00 about his house. Defendant says he never threatened any one, told the officers to come in and search but they found nothing in the way of whiskey or liquor.”

In the case of Shepherd v. State (Okl. Cr. App.) 192 P. 235, this court held: “In a prosecution for carrying a concealed weapon, an offered defense that the revolver which defendant was carrying concealed on his person was a 44-caliber gun commonly known *396 as an ‘army gun,’ and was carried to resist a threatened attack on his life, was not a sufficient defense.”

There being no question of fact in this case, but merely one of law, we hold that the defendant was properly convicted of unlawfully carrying a revolver.

The judgment is therefore affirmed.

EDWARDS, P. J., concurs.

DAVENPORT, J. (dissenting).
I cannot concur in the views of the majority opinion, wherein it holds that the defendant could carry the pistol he was carrying from room to room in his home but could not carry it into his yard, the curtilage of his home. Section 26, art. 2, of the Constitution of Oklahoma, is as follows: “The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons.”

Section 1992, C. O. S. 1921, being the section under which this defendant is prosecuted, is as follows: “It shall be unlawful for any person in the State of Oklahoma to carry upon or about his person any pistol, revolver, bowie-knife, dirk-knife, loaded-cane, billy, metal knuckles, or any other offensive or defensive weapon, except as in this article provided.”

Under the Constitution, supra, the Legislature has regulated the carrying of weapons. There is no law which prohibits the defendant from owning and possessing the pistol he was carrying, for which he was arrested and convicted. It is urged by the defendant that, under section 26, art. 2 (Bill of Rights), he committed no offense, and that the evidence introduced by the state against him is insufficient to sustain a conviction. With this contention I agree. Several opinions of the court are cited in the majority opinion, none of which are applicable to the facts in this case, for the reason the party charged in the cases cited was away from his home and in a public place. There is no dispute as to the facts. All the evidence shows that the witnesses against the defendant went to defendant’s home possessed with a search warrant to search the same; that, when they arrived at his home and advised the defendant that they had a search warrant to search his home, the defendant raised no objections; at the time of their arrival, the defendant had the pistol he is charged with unlawfully carrying stuck under his belt on the right side, in the top of his pants; that the officers found nothing called for in the search warrant. The testimony shows that, while they were searching, the pistol still being in defendant’s belt where it was when they first arrived, the defendant walked into the yard, the curtilage of his home, and back into the house.

The search was completed by the officers without finding anything called for in the search warrant. They then took the pistol from the defendant and arrested him for unlawfully, willfully, and wrongfully carrying about his person a Colt’s automatic revolver The defendant insists that the testimony in this case is insufficient to sustain a conviction, for the reason that he was not carrying the pistol in violation of our statute; that, being at home and in his yard, the curtilage of his home, he had a right to own and possess the pistol he was carrying, and to carry it in his house and upon his yard, the curtilage of his home; and that in so doing he was not violating the law prohibiting the carrying of weapons. This seems to be the first time in the history of the criminal courts that any one has ever been arrested for carrying a weapon in his own home or within his yard, the curtilage of his home under a statute regulating the wearing or carrying of a pistol. Many cases are found where the defendant has been arrested for carrying weapons in violation of the statutes of his state, yet I fail to find any where a man has been arrested and convicted for carrying a weapon that he had a right to own and possess in his house or in his yard, the curtilage of his home, nor does the majority opinion cite any case from any court in this or any other state where the defendant has ever been convicted for carrying a pistol in his home or his yard.

After a careful search of authorities, trying to find one case to sustain the majority opinion, I have failed. I find a case not exactly in point, but by analogy may be construed in defendant’s favor. In Tucker v. State, 105 S. W. 499, the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas, in passing upon the question, made the following statement:

“It is contended that the evidence is not sufficient. There seems to be no practical contradiction in the evidence that appellant was arrested at home and carried by the officers to the county seat, and while en route was searched for weapons and none found. Upon reaching the jail, he was again searched and a knife found upon him, which the witnesses testified was not a dirk, and did not know whether it was a bowie knife or not, that it did not correspond with the definition of a bowie knife, and they did not know what sort of a knife it was.”

The court further said:

“It is the state’s case that he was arrested at his home, and carried under arrest to the county seat and placed in jail. When arrested at home, he had on the knife, and had no opportunity to get it at any other time or place, and being under arrest his actions were not voluntary, but in obedience to the wish and will of the officers.”

*397 “If he had carried the knife himself unfettered by the arrest off his premises, he might be guilty, but we do not believe the law intended, nor is it the law, that a party having on his person a pistol, or an interdicted weapon at his home, and being forced away with it on him, that it would be such a carrying of an inhibited weapon as would make him subject to punishment.”

From an examination of the record, the defendant was at his home where he had a right to be, exercising peaceably his rights, and, in the exercise of those rights, he was not interfering with any other individual. I cannot believe that the defendant, by carrying the pistol in his house and into his yard, the curtilage of his home violated the statute of this state. I do not believe that the intention of the Legislature, when it enacted the law regulating the carrying of weapons, intended to abridge the sacred right of a citizen of the state by prohibiting him from doing a certain thing within the walls of his home, and to say that he could not do the same in his yard, the curtilage of that home. From time immemorial, the home, be it ever so humble, has been sacred-the castle of the occupant-with the right to repell invasion or any trespass thereon. For centuries the right to occupy that home has gone unchallenged. The curtilage to the home is a part of that home, and no court, so far as I have been able to find, has ever attempted to abridge the rights of the occupant of the home and to the exercise and use of the curtilage the same as the home. Without the unrestricted use of the curtilage, the home would be useless. To say that an individual may own and possess, and have the right to carry from one room to another in the house, a pistol, but that he cannot carry it into the yard, the curtilage, in my judgment strikes at the very foundation of the privacy of the home; its sacred protection that has been thrown around it since the organization of a home would be destroyed. The regulations of the carrying of weapons, in my judgment, was not intended to restrict the rights of an individual in his home and the curtilage thereto.

I think that the defendant was wrongfully convicted; that he violated no law when he was in his home or curtilage thereto in carrying the pistol he carried, and that his objections to the evidence were well taken and should have been sustained, and that the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction, and should be reversed, with directions to discharge the defendant.

Okla.Crim.App. 1929.
PIERCE v. STATE.
42 Okla.Crim. 272, 275 P. 393, 73 A.L.R. 833

Carlton v. State
63 Fla. 1, 58 So. 486
Fla. 1912
March 26, 1912

63 Fla. 1, 58 So. 486

Supreme Court of Florida.
CARLTON et al.
v.
STATE.
March 26, 1912.
Rehearing Denied May 15, 1912.

Syllabus by the Court

Threats made against the deceased by two of the three persons indicted for his murder on the night before the homicide, not made in the presence of the third party, are admissible in evidence against the two who made them, as tending to show their animus against the deceased; and the third person indicted is not injured by such evidence, when the court instructs the jury that such threats are not evidence against such third party.
No error is committed in refusing to permit a party charged with an unlawful homicide to prove that he voluntarily surrendered to the officer, when the state had not undertaken to show that he evaded arrest.
The question whether the title to an act was broad enough to cover some of its sections is of no moment, when the sections of said act were subsequently embodied in the General Statutes of 1906.
Sectipn 3262, General Statutes of 1906, is not unconstitutional, because it excepts sheriffs and other police officers from its operation, as said exception or classification is based on a public necessity, and is not in conflict with any specific provision of the Constitution.
The statutes against carrying concealed weapons have no connection with section 20 of the Bill of Rights, which preserves ‘to the people the right to bear arms in defense of themselves and the lawful authority of the state.’
Since the adoption of sections 3262 and 3263 of the General Statutes of 1906, the carrying of concealed weapons is a breach of the peace which authorizes an arrest by an officer, without warrant; and section 3929 is broader, and gives an officer authority to arrest, without warrant, any one who, in the presence of such officer, violates any of the penal laws of this state, or of any municipality, and makes it the duty of such officer to arrest, without warrant, and take into custody any person whom such officer has reasonable ground to believe, and does believe, has committed any felony, or whom he finds in the act of committing any felony, or about to commit a felony, or engage in a fight or other breach of the peace.
Where a person fires a pistol in a village, behind a cold drink stand within 100 yards of an officer’s residence, it may fairly be said that the pistol was fired in the ‘presence’ of the officer, and is an offense, under section 3626, Gen. St. 1906, for which an officer may arrest the person firing the pistol, without warrant.
Requested instructions, not warranted by the evidence, are properly refused.

*2 **486 John E. & Julian Hartidge, of Jacksonville, and A. R. Logan, of St. Augustine, for plaintiffs in error.

Park Trammell, Atty. Gen., and C. O. Andrews, both of Tallahassee, for the State.

HOCKER, J.
Bascom Carlton, Dan Carlton, and Marion Carlton were indicted on the 25th of April, 1911, in the *3 circuit court of St. Johns county, for the murder of one Guy White on the 5th day of March of the same year. On the trial, Bascom Carlton was convicted of murder in the first degree, with recommendation to mercy, and Marion and Dan Carlton were convicted of murder in the second degree, and each of them sentenced to the state prison for life. The judgments are here for review on writ of error. Before discussing the assignments of error, the writer will endeavor to give a synopsis of the evidence.

On Saturday, the 4th of March, 1911, Bascom and Dan Carlton went from the neighborhood of Espanola to Hastings, in St. Johns county. They went on the East Coast Railroad. Their brother, Marion, went with them as far as Dinner Island, and there Marion left the train. At Hastings, Dan and Bascom figured around the barrooms considerably, bought and drank whisky, and one of them, probably Bascom, got into some trouble in a place where there was dancing by stepping on some one’s toe. Some disturbance occurred, which led to the arrest of Bascom and Dan. They gave bond, were released, and spent the night at a private house. They say that they were arrested just about midnight, when they were ready to take a train back to Espanola. They got on the train Sunday morning to go back to Espanola. At Dinner Island, they were joined **487 by Marion Carlton. A youth named Burney, who worked with Bascom near Espanola, also went to Hastings, and was on the train on Sunday morning. He was drunk, and had a pistol which Bascom says was his; he having left it in his room, where Burney got it. It was evident all these parties were drinking. The pistol which Burney had was taken from him by one of the parties and given to Marion or Dan, but finally *4 found its way to Marion. The defendants say that when Marion got off the train on Saturday at Dinner Island Bascom gave him his pistol, which Marion returned to him on Sunday, when he got on the train. It was proven that Bascom and Dan, on Saturday night at Hastings, made threats of killing Guy White and another man, Kelley, who had arrested them at Hastings. The defendants got off the train Sunday at Espanola about 12:30 o’clock. The evidence tends to prove that they hung around the depot for some time in the negro waiting room. There is some evidence that the agent requested Guy White, who was a deputy sheriff, to get them away from the depot. Marion and Dan went first from the depot to a vacant cool drink stand, about 100 yards from the depot. They say they went there to have a settlement of money matters, as Marion was to leave the next day. Some time after Marion and Dan went to the cool drink stand, Bascom joined them. The evidence tends to prove that while they were at this place Marion and Bascom indulged in threats about Guy White and another person; that they seemed to anticipate trouble with Guy White, the deputy sheriff, and expected to kill him. Then a pistol shot was fired by Marion, and Guy White, the deputy sheriff, hastended to the spot, calling upon one Snyder, who seems also to have been a deputy sheriff, and one Durrance to go with him. When Guy White reached the parties, he demanded who shot off the pistol. Marion answered that he did it, and he says he told White the pistol was accidentally fired. White demanded the pistol, and in trying to get it a short struggle ensued; but he finally got it, and them notified the three brothers they were all under arrest. It appears that Marion was boisterous and used threatening language, but that Dan counseled moderation and urged that there be no trouble. *5 Dan told White he had no pistol. No effort was there made to secure Bascom’s pistol. There was evidence from which the jury might have inferred that the pistol was fired off to attract the attention of White and bring him to the place, with the view of precipitating a difficulty with him, and of carrying out the threats that had been made.

After the brothers were put under arrest by White with the aid of a posse which he had called together, he undertook to take them to a jail or calaboose, which was some 50 years away. Espanola was a small settlement; the houses being some distance apart. On the way to the jail, Marion was obstreperous, and threatened to kill the whole of the arresters when he was turned loose. Handcuffs were put on him by Snyder, which White took off as soon as he reached the jail. The jail was a samll wooden building, with a passageway down one side, and three cells on the other, with doors opening on the passageway. The deputy sheriff, White, Snyder, and some of the posse escorted the arrested parties into the passageway; Bascom being the last of the brothers to enter. They arranged themselves along the passageway in front of the cell doors. Snyder had his pistol drawn. The evidence on the part of the state tends to prove that when the parties were all in the passageway, as above indicated, one of the posse, named Dorman, being next to Bascom, that White then said to Bascom he would have to search him to see if he had a gun or knife; that White then attempted to put his hand in Bascom’s pocket; and that as he did so Bascom drew his pistol and fired rapidly twice, killing both White and Snyder. Dorman seized the pistol in the hands of Bascom, and a struggle took place. The state’s witnesses say that both Dan and Marion seized Dorman, one choking him and the other holding his arm; but others present*6 came to Dorman’s help, with the result that he held onto the pistol. There was then a separation of the parties; the defendants leaving the scene, as well as the members of the posse.

The state’s witness Durrance says that when he went up to the cold drink stand to aid White, Marion was very ugly to him, saying to him and Snyder, who was with him: ‘You two sons of bitches, I am talking to Guy; if you got any word against me, say it, you bastards.’ He also says that when Marion got about halfway to the jail he said to the men who were guarding him: ‘You three sons of bitches, I will kill you if I ever got out of this. I know you.’ Durrance says he also heard Dan or Marion, he could not tell which, say, just as the shots were fired, ‘Kill all inside and outside.’ He also says he heard no cursing of Guy White, though Bascom and Marion protested against being arrested by him. Mr. Sabate, a deputy sheriff, who arrested Dan and Marion after the shooting on the night of March 5th, testified that they said to him ‘that when Bascom killed Mr. White, shot Mr. White, just previous to the shooting, when they were put in jail, that they knew he was going to shoot, and they stepped inside into one of the cells, and he did the shooting;’ and, again, that they said ‘they stepped into the cell one side to keep out of the way as it was of the shooting.’ Mr. Dean testified for the state that on the night of the killing he saw Dan at the witness’ camp, about a mile from Espanola. Dan came to his gate and called **488 him. The witness told him to come in and sit down, which he did. A fellow named Burney was with him. Dan said, ‘Well, I guess you heard what happened.’ Witness said: ‘I heard. I hope it is not so.’ Dan said, ‘Well, the Jew, Snyder, is killed.’ That Bascom killed him. He also said: ‘One thing I am sorry of, there was another damned long cracker in there. I am sorry they didn’t kill *7 him.’ Dan also said ‘he knowed the thing was going to happen, and stepped back one side out of the way.’ He said Bascom told him that if he ever got that much drop on Guy White he would kill him. He also said Dan was cutting ties for the witness.

The Carltons deny making the threats which the state alleged were made before the killing, and they deny saying the accusing things which the state’s witnesses say were made after the killing by Marion and Dan. They all say that when Bascom shot, White or some one had cried out, ‘Shoot the sons of bitches,’ or words of like import; and Bascom claims that he shot because he thought he was about to be shot himself. These statements are in conflict with the testimony of the state’s witnesses. The foregoing is a synopsis of the evidence.

It is difficult to discover from the brief of plaintiffs in error what particular assignments of error are most relied on. The first part of the brief seems to be devoted to a general discussion of assignments ‘under the tenth to the twentieth, inclusive.’ These assignments deal with charges given and instructions refused. Next assignments, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth, are grouped and discussed together in the brief, as is also done in the case of the nineteenth and twentieth assignments; and, lastly, the twenty-first, twenty-second, twenty-third, twenty-fourth, twenty-fifth, twenty-seventh, twenty-eighth, and twenty-ninth are grouped, and the court is asked to apply the arguments made under the other assignments to these. Under these circumstances, we shall first discuss those assignments that are specifically argued.

[1] Several assignments question the propriety of permitting in evidence threats, alleged to have been made at Hastings on the night of March 4th by Bascom and Dan Carlton. We think this evidence was proper as to these *8 two as showing the animus of the parties. The court instructed the jury that declarations and admissions of the declarations were not evidence against such as were not present.

[2] Under the ninth assignment, it is contended that the court erred in not permitting Bascom Carlton to prove that he surrendered voluntarily to the officers. The state had not undertaken to show that he had fled, and no authority is shown to support this contention, and we know of none.

Assignment 10 questions a charge of the court, based on section 3263, General Statutes of 1906, making it a breach of the peace to carry concealed weapons, and authorizing an officer to arrest for said offense without a warrant.

[3] It is first contended that the original act of 1901, of which this section is a part, is unconstitutional, because its title was not broad enough. This is now of no moment, as the act is brought forward and re-enacted in several sections of the General Statutes of 1906.

[4][5] It is next contended that section 3262 is unconstitutional, because it excepts sheriffs and other police officers from its operation, and permits them to carry concealed weapons, which is denied to others. We are not referred to any special provision of our state Constitution which this statute is supposed to violate, and none occurs to us at this time. Apparently the exception or classification is based upon a public necessity growing out of the difficulties and hazards which sheriffs and other officers encounter in dealing with dangerous characters. These statutes against carrying concealed weapons have no connection with section 20 of the Bill of Rights, which preserves to the people the right ‘to bear arms in defense *9 of themselves and the lawful authority of the state.’ This section was intended to give the people the means of protecting themselves against oppression and public outrage, and was not designed as a shield for the individual man, who is prone to load his stomach with liquor and his pockets with revolvers or dynamite, and make of himself a dangerous nuisance to society. See the case of State v. Workman, 35 W. Va. 367, 14 S. E. 9, as reported in 14 L. R. A. 600, and important note; Presser v. State of Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 6 Sup. Ct. 580, 29 L. Ed. 615.

The eleventh assignment of error attacks a portion of the charge of the court defining a conspiracy. The contention is there was no evidence of a common design to murder Guy White. We think there were facts before the jury which save the charge from the general attack upon it, which was made. Their sufficiency was left by the court to the jury.

[6][7] The twelfth assignment is based on the refusal of the circuit judge to give an instruction to the effect that an officer was not justified in making an arrest without a warrant, when the person whom he arrests is not at the time in the presence of the arresting officer, committing a breach of the peace or criminal offense, or engaged in open violence by fighting or engaging in a fight, or about to escape after committing a felony.

It is alleged in the brief that this instruction is based on the case of Roberson v. State, 43 Fla. 156, 29 South. 535, 52 L. R. A. 751. Since this decision was made, the statute law has been changed by sections 3262 and 3263, General Statutes of 1906. The latter makes the carrying of a concealed **489 weapon a breach of the peace, and authorizes any officer to arrest for the offense without warrant. Section 3929 is broader, and gives an officer authority to *10 arrest, without warrant, any one who, in the presence of such officer, violates any of the penal laws of the state, or of any municipality, and makes it the duty of such officer to arrest, without warrant, and take into dustody any person whom such officer has reasonable ground to believe, and does believe, has committed any felony, or whom he finds in the act of committing any felony, or about to commit any felony, or engage in a fight or other breach of the peace. This section became law since the decision in Roberson v. State, supra.

Section 3626 is as follows: ‘Whoever discharges on any public highway or in any unincorporated village within three hundred years of any premises, any fire arms, without permission from the occupant of said premises, or in defense of life, limb or property, shall be punished,’ etc.

It may be fairly said that Marion Carlton fired his pistol in the presence of Guy White, the deputy sheriff. The firing was done within 100 yards of White’s residence, in the village of Espanola; and the only thing that prevented White from actually seeing the act of shooting was that Marion was behind the little shed, called a cold drink stand. Evidently White heard the shot and immediately repaired to the spot where it occurred.

At common law, sheriffs and other police officers, virtute officii, and all who aid them, are empowered by law to arrest, not only felons and those suspected of felony, but also persons guilty of a breach of the peace, or just suspicion thereof, such as nightwalkers and persons unduly armed. 2 Hale’s P. C. 85, 86. Hale gives weighty reason why peace officers should have these powers.

In Ramsey v. State, 92 Ga. 53, 17 S. E. 613, it is held that an officer may arrest, without warrant, for wife-beating, if he arrives at the scene during the progress*11 of or immediately after the beating; he being attracted thereto by the noise of the disturbance or the outcry of the woman. This was based on a section of the Georgia Code, authorizing an officer to arrest without warrant, if the offense is committed in his presence.

In the case of State v. McAfee, 107 N. C. 812, 12 S. E. 435, 10 L. R. A. 607, it is held that, ‘where the defendant struck his wife a blow with a stick in a public road, so near to the officer [a justice of the peace] that he could hear the sound made by the blow and the cries of the woman, though, on account of the darkness, he could not actually see the assault, it was such a breach of the peace in the presence of the officer as authorized him to arrest the assailant without a warrant.’ To the like effect are the decisions in the cases of Dilger v. Commonwealth, 88 Ky. 550, 11 S. W. 651; Hawkins v. Lutton, 95 Wis. 492, 70 N. W. 483, 60 Am. St. rep. 131, and note, discussing what constitutes a breach of the peace.

Under the facts of the instant case, we think it clear that Guy White was authorized to arrest the defendants Bascom and Marion Carlton and Dan also, if the facts were such as authorized him to believe there was a conspiracy to produce a breach of the peace in which they were all engaged.

[8] The thirteenth assignment of error is based on the refusal of the court to give an instruction to the effect that an officer, in making an arrest, is not authorized to use more force than is necessary. We do not think the evidence warranted this instruction. There is no evidence that Guy White used more force in arresting the defendants than was necessary. What we have already said disposes of a number of the assignments of error.

*12 The fifteenth assignment is based on the refusal of the court to instruct the jury that, under the law of Florida, a homicide is justifiable, when committed in the lawful defense of a brother. The difficulty with this instruction is that it assumes that Bascom Carlton shot White while White and Snyder were attempting to arrest Dan and Marion Carlton, and they were resisting an unlawful arrest. The evidence does not warrant such a hypothesis. The assignments based on the hypothesis that Guy White committed an unlawful arrest of the defendants, we do not think it necessary to consider. The facts seem to us to show a lawful arrest.

Several of the assignments of error question the correctness of the verdict as to each and all of the defendants. All of the Justices are of opinion that the evidence is sufficient to sustain the verdict as to Bascom Carlton. Chief Justice WHITFIELD, Justice SHACKLEFORD, and Justice COCKRELL are of opinion that there is sufficient evidence that Dan and Marion Carlton were present aiding and abetting in the murder of Guy White. On the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain the conviction as to Dan and Marion Carlton, Justice TAYLOR dissents, and the writer dissents as to Dan Carlton.

The judgment below is affirmed as to all the defendants.

Fla. 1912
CARLTON v. STATE
63 Fla. 1, 58 So. 486

City of Salina v. Blaksley
72 Kan. 230, 83 P. 619
Kan. 1905.
November 11, 1905

72 Kan. 230, 83 P. 619, 3 L.R.A.N.S. 168, 115 Am.St.Rep. 196

Supreme Court of Kansas.
CITY OF SALINA
v.
BLAKSLEY.
Nov. 11, 1905.

Syllabus by the Court.

Section 4 of the Bill of Rights, which provides that “the people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security,” is a limitation on legislative power to enact laws prohibiting the bearing of arms in the militia, or any other military organization provided for by law, but is not a limitation on legislative power to enact laws prohibiting and punishing the promiscuous carrying of arms or other deadly weapons.
[Ed. Note.-For cases in point, see vol. 48, Cent. Dig. Weapons, § 3.]

Appeal from District Court, Salina County; R. R. Rees, Judge.
James Blaksley was convicted of carrying a pistol within the city of Salina, and appeals. Affirmed.

David Ritchie, for appellant.

R. A. Lovitt, for appellee.

GREENE, J.
James Blaksley was convicted in the police court of the city of Salina, a city of the second class, of carrying a revolving pistol within the city while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. He appealed to the district court, where he was again convicted, and this proceeding is prosecuted to reverse the judgment of the latter court.

The question presented is the constitutionality of section 1003 of the General Statutes of 1901, which reads: “The council may prohibit and punish the carrying of fire arms or other deadly weapons, concealed or otherwise, and may arrest and imprison, fine or set at work all vagrants and persons found in said city without visible means of support, or some legitimate business.”

Section 4 of the Bill of Rights is as follows: “The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be tolerated, and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.” The contention is that this section of the Bill of Rights is a constitutional inhibition upon the power of the Legislature to prohibit the individual from having and carrying arms, and that section 1003 of the General Statutes of 1901 is an attempt to deprive him of the right guarantied by the Bill of Rights, and is therefore unconstitutional and void. The power of the Legislature to prohibit or regulate the carrying of deadly weapons has been the subject of much dispute in the courts. The views expressed in the decisions are not uniform, and the reasonings of the different courts vary. It has, however, been generally held that the Legislatures can regulate the mode of carrying deadly weapons, provided they are not such as are ordinarily used in civilized warfare. To this view, there is a notable exception in the early case of Bliss v. Commonwealth, 2 Litt. (Ky.) 90, 13 Am. Dec. 251, where it was held, under a constitutional provision similar to ours, that the act of the Legislature prohibiting the carrying of concealed deadly weapons was void, and that the right of the citizen to own and carry arms was protected by the Constitution, and could not be taken away or regulated. While this decision has frequently been referred to by the courts of other states, it has never been followed. The same principle was announced in Idaho in re Brickey, 8 Idaho, 597, 70 Pac. 609, 101 Am. St. Rep. 215, but no reference is made to Bliss v. Commonwealth, nor to any other authority in support of the decision. In view of the disagreements in the reasonings of the different courts by which they reached conflicting conclusions, we prefer to treat the question as an original one.

The provision in section 4 of the Bill of Rights “that the people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security” refers to the people as a collective body. It was the safety and security of society that was being considered when this provision was put into our Constitution. It is followed immediately by the declaration that standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty and should not be tolerated. and that “the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.” It deals exclusively with the military. Individual rights are not considered in this section. The manner in which the people shall exercise this right of bearing arms for the defense and security of the people is found in article 8 of the Constitution, which authorizes the organizing, equipping, and disciplining of the militia, which shall be composed of “able-bodied male citizens between the ages of twenty-one and forty-five years. ***” The militia is essentially the people’s army, and their defense and security in time of peace. There are no other provisions made for the military protection and security of the people in time of peace. In the absence of constitutional or legislative authority, no person has the right to assume such duty. In some of the states where it has been held, under similar provisions, that the citizen has the right preserved by the Constitution to carry such arms as are ordinarily used in civilized warfare, it is placed on the ground that it was intended that the people would thereby become accustomed to handling and using such arms, so that in case of an emergency they would be more or less prepared for the duties of a soldier. The weakness of this argument lies in the fact that in nearly every state in the Union there are provisions for organizing and drilling state militia in sufficient numbers to meet any such emergency.

That the provision in question applies only to the right to bear arms as a member of the state militia, or some other military organization provided for by law, is also apparent from the second amendment to the federal Constitution, which says: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Here, also, the right of the people to keep and bear arms for their security is preserved, and the manner of bearing them for such purpose is clearly indicated to be as a member of a well-regulated militia, or some other military organization provided for by law. Mr. Bishop, in his work on Statutory Crimes, in treating of this provision, which is found in almost every state Constitution, says, in section 793: “In reason, the keeping and bearing of arms has reference only to war and possibly also to insurrections wherein the forms of war are, as far as practicable observed.” *621 Commonwealth v. Murphy (Mass.) 44 N. E. 138, 32 L. R. A. 606, strongly supports the position we have taken. The defendant was convicted of being a member of an independent organization which was drilling and parading with guns. The guns, however, had been intentionally made so defective as to be incapable of being discharged. The prosecution was had under a statute which provided that: “No body of men whatsoever, other than the regularly organized corps of the militia [and certain other designated organizations], shall associate themselves together at any time as a company or organization, for drill or parade with fire-arms, or maintain an armory in any city or town of the commonwealth. ***”

On the trial the defendant invoked the provisions of the Massachusetts Bill of Rights, “the people have a right to keep and bear arms for the common defense,” in support of his contention that he had the right to bear arms. The court said: “This view cannot be supported. The right to keep and bear arms for the common defense does not include the right to associate together as a military organization, or to drill and parade with arms in cities or towns, unless authorized to do so by law. This is a matter affecting the public security, quiet, and good order, and it is within the police power of the Legislature to regulate the bearing of arms, so as to forbid such unauthorized drills and parades.” The defendant was not a member of an organized militia, nor of any other military organization provided for by law, and was therefore not within the provision of the Bill of Rights, and was not protected by its terms.

The judgment is affirmed. All the Justices concurring.

Kan. 1905.
CITY OF SALINA v. BLAKSLEY.
72 Kan. 230, 83 P. 619, 3 L.R.A.N.S. 168, 115 Am.St.Rep. 196

People v. Brown
253 Mich. 537, 235 N.W. 245
Mi. 1931
February 27, 1931

253 Mich. 537, 235 N.W. 245, 82 A.L.R. 341

Supreme Court of Michigan.
PEOPLE
v.
BROWN.
No. 144.
Feb. 27, 1931

Error to Circuit Court, Jackson County; John Simpson, Judge.
Bernard Brown was convicted of carrying a dangerous weapon and of possessing and having in possession a blackjack, and sentenced as a fourth offender as on a plea of guilty, and he brings error.
Conviction by jury affirmed, and supplemental procedure and sentence reversed, and cause remanded.
Argued before the Entire Bench.

Frank L. Blackman, of Jackson, for appellant.

H. D. Boardman, Pros. Atty., and Owen Dudley, Asst. Pros. Atty., both of Jackson, for the People.

FEAD, J.
Defendant was convicted on both counts of an information charging him (a) with carrying a dangerous weapon, a blackjack, in an automobile, Comp. Laws 1929, § 16753, and (b) with possessing and having in possession a blackjack contrary to the provisions of section 3, Act No. 206, Pub. Acts 1929, Comp. Laws 1929, § 16751. He and another man had the blackjack and a rifle in an automobile. Supplemental information was filed, and, as on plea of guilty, he was convicted of being a fourth offender and sentenced to life imprisonment.

**246 Defendant contends that the statutes under which he was convicted are invalid as contravening section 5, art. 2, of the State Constitution, which reads: ‘Sec. 5. Every person has a right to bear arms for the defense of himself and the state.’

The penalty for the violation of each statute is the same. Section 16751 includes the offense charged as under section 16753. If the former is constitutional, and latter must be, if and in so far as it is applicable to the weapon herein involved.

*539 Section 16751 reads in part:

‘Sec. 3. It shall be unlawful within this state to manufacture, sell, offer for sale or possess any machine gun or firearm which can be fired more than sixteen (16) times without reloading or any muffler, silencer, or device for deadening or muffling the sound of a discharged firearm, or any bomb, or bomb shell, blackjack, slung shot, billy, metallic knuckles, sand club, sand bag, or bludgeon or any gas ejecting device, weapon, cartridge, container, or contrivance designed or equipped for or capable of ejecting any gas which will either temporarily or permanently disable, incapacitate, injure or harm any person with whom it comes in contact.

The statute applies to all persons except peace officers, certain manufacturers, military and licensed persons, and contains no limitations of place, time, purpose, or use. It prohibits the possession of the enumerated weapons by any one, other than an excepted person, in private as well as in public, in the home or elsewhere, and whatever the purpose and contemplated use.

It is generally recognized that the constitutional declaration, in both Federal and State Constitutions, of the right to bear arms, had its origin in the fear of the American colonists of a standing army and its use to oppress the people, and in their attachment to a militia composed of all able-bodied men. Probably the necessity of self-protection in a frontier society also was a factor.

[1] Some courts have been so impressed with the historical background that they have held that the constitutional protection covers the bearing of such arms only as are a customary part of the equipment of a militiaman; and in Salina v. Blaksley, 72 Kan. 230, 83 P. 619, *540 3 L. R. A. (N. S.) 168, 115 Am. St. Rep. 196, 7 Ann. Cas. 925, it was decided that the Legislature may prohibit the bearing of arms anywhere except in a military organization provided for by law It is interesting to note that pistols and revolvers seem to have given these courts trouble in the application of the militia test. On the other hand, some courts, for various reasons, have extended the protection to weapons of all descriptions. The authorities cannot be reconciled except in respect of the proposition that, regardless of the basis of the right to bear arms, the state, nevertheless, has the police power to reasonably regulate it. 28 Harvard Law Review, 473; Aymette v. State, 2 Humph. (21 Tenn.) 154; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga. 243; Ex parte Thomas, 1 Okl. Cr. 210, 97 P. 260, 20 L. R. A. (N. S.) 1007; 40 Cyc. p. 853; State v. Workman, 35 W. Va. 367, 14 S. E. 9, 14 L. R. A. 600; Commonwealth v. Murphy, 166 Mass. 171, 44 N. E. 138, 32 L. R. A. 606; City of Salina v. Blaksley, 72 Kan. 230, 83 P. 619, 3 L. R. A. (N. S.) 168, 115 Am. St. Rep. 196, 7 Ann. Cas. 925; Ex parte Thomas, 21 Okl. 770, 97 P. 260, 20 L. R. A. (N. S.) 1007, 17 Ann. Cas. 566; Strickland v. State, 137 Ga. 1, 72 S. E. 260, 36 L. R. A. (N. S.) 115, Ann. Cas. 1913B, 323; State v. Keet, 269 Mo. 206, 190 S. W. 573, L. R. A. 1917C, 60; and notes.

When the bulwark of state defense was the militia, privately armed, there may have been good reason for the historical and military test of the right to bear arms. But in this state the militia, although legally existent and composed of all able-bodied male citizens of Michigan and those of foreign birth who have declared their intention to become citizens, Comp. Laws 1929, § 629, is practically extinct and has been superseded by the National Guard and reserve organizations. If called to service, the arms are furnished by the state. Comp. Laws 1929, § 633. In times of peace, the militia, as such, is unarmed and the historical test would render the constitutional provision lifeless.

The protection of the Constitution is not limited to militiamen nor military purposes, in terms, but extends to ‘every person’ to bear arms for the ‘defense of himself’ as well as of the state. This *541 includes the right of a foreigner to possess a revolver for the legitimate defense of his person and property, subject, however, to the valid exercise of the police power of the state to regulate the carrying of firearms. People v. Zerillo, 219 Mich. 635, 189 N. W. 927, 24 A. L. R. 1115.

Some arms, although they have a valid use for the protection of the state by organized and instructed soldiery in times of war or riot, are too dangerous to be kept in a settled community by individuals, and, in times of peace, find their use by bands of criminals and have legitimate employment only by guards and police. Some weapons are adapted and recognized by the common opinion of good citizens as proper for private defense of person and property. Others are the peculiar tools of the criminal. The police power of the state to preserve public safety and peace and to regulate the bearing of arms cannot fairly be restricted to the mere establishment of conditions under which all sorts of weapons may be privately possessed, but it may take account of the character and ordinary use of weapons and interdict those whose customary employment by individuals **247 is to violate the law. The power is, of course, subject to the limitation that its exercise be reasonable, and it cannot constitutionally result in the prohibition of the possession of those arms which, by the common opinion and usage of law-abiding people, are proper and legitimate to be kept upon private premises for the protection of person and property.

We find no decisions in point upon an identical constitutional provision, but in People v. Persce, 204 N. Y. 397, 97 N. E. 877, 879, it was held that the Legislature may prohibit the possession of ‘instruments [a slung shot] which are ordinarily used for criminal and improper purposes and which *542 are not amongst those ordinary legitimate weapons of defense and protection which are contemplated by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.’ See, also, People v. Warden, 154 App. Div. 413, 139 N. Y. S. 277; Andrews v. State, 3 Heisk. (50 Tenn.) 165, 8 Am. Rep. 8.

And in State v. Duke, 42 Tex. 455, the court said: ‘The arms which every person is secured the right to keep and bear (in the defense of himself or the State, subject to legislative regulation), must be such arms as are commonly kept, according to the customs of the people, and are appropriate for open and manly use in self-defense, as well as such as are proper for the defense of the State.’

The list of weapons in section 16751, supra, is significant and demonstrates a definite intention of the Legislature to protest society from a recognized menace. It does not include ordinary guns, swords, revolvers, or other weapons usually relied upon by good citizens for defense or pleasure. It is a partial inventory of the arsenal of the ‘public enemy,’ the ‘gangster.’ It describes some of the particular weapons with which he wars on the state and reddens his murderous trail. The blackjack is properly included in the list of outlawed weapons. As defined in Encyclopaedia Britannica, it is ‘a bludgeon like weapon consisting of a lead slug attached to a leather thong. The more carefully constructed black jacks contain a spring within the handle which serves to ease the effect of the impact upon the wrist of the one who wields the weapon. The black jack has the reputation of being a characteristic weapon of urban gangsters and rowdies.’

[2] The statute does not infringe upon the legitimate right of personal or public defense, but is within the *543 reasonable and constitutional exercise of the police power of the state to curb crime.

Defendant challenged the supplemental procedure, charging him with being a fourth offender, on motion for a new trial, on the ground that no plea of guilty had been entered by him and no trial had, as shown by the records of the court.

[3] The statute, Comp. Laws 1929, § 17341, requires (a) the court shall inform defendant of the allegations contained in the supplemental information, and (b) of his right to be tried as to the truth thereof according to law, (c) that defendant be required to say whether he is the same person as charged in the information, and (d) that he plead guilty or be convicted, before he may be sentenced under it. The charge of habitual offender includes both the identity of the person alleged to have committed other felonies and the fact of his prior convictions.

The record of arraignment was: ‘Bernard Brown, defendant in this cause, having been duly arrigned at the bar in open court on a supplemental information charging fourth felony and the said information having been read to the defendant and the said defendant having been asked if he is the same person mentioned in the said information, and acknowledging that he is the same person, it is ordered now here that the said plea be, and the same is hereby accepted.’

The record of sentence reads: ‘Bernard Brown, the defendant in this cause, having been upon his plea of guilty convicted of the crime of fourth felony as appears by the record thereof,’ etc.

[4] The statement of plea of guilty in the entry of sentence refers back to the record as made. The *544 record as made does not show a compliance with the statutory duty of the court to inform the defendant of his rights nor a plea of guilty to the charge. It shows no more than that defendant acknowledged he was the person charged in the supplemental information, not that he admitted being the person charged in the previous offenses alleged therein nor that he had been convicted thereof. In People v. Palm, 245 Mich. 396, 223 N. W. 67, 68, the situation was different, as the record there recited that the defendant had pleaded guilty and that ‘said plea of guilty was voluntarily and understandingly tendered.’ It was not without some hesitation that the record was held sufficient in that case, as not affirmatively showing the statute had not been complied with. The ruling should not be extended. In this case, the record fails to show a plea of guilty covering the elements of the offense.

We appreciate that this ruling may seem technical and, in the instant case, may have no greater result than a retreating of formal ground. But the practice as outlined in the statute affords such opportunity for misunderstanding by a defendant, unless its effect is clearly explained to him, and the consequences of conviction of being a habitual offender are so serious that the procedure should be strictly pursued and the record of the court should show, in essentials at least, its observance.

The conviction by the jury is affirmed. The supplemental procedure and sentence are reversed, and the cause remanded to the circuit **248 court to pass sentence, without prejudice to such renewal of proceedings under the habitual criminal law as may be presented to it.

BUTZEL, C. J., and CLARK, McDONALD, POTTER, SHARPE, NORTH, and WIEST, JJ., concur.

Mi. 1931
PEOPLE v. BROWN
253 Mich. 537, 235 N.W. 245, 82 A.L.R. 341

Legislative Branch

Legislative

There is a legal doctrine named “void for vagueness”. Examples of the application of this doctrine can be found here, but in essence it states that “All laws should receive a sensible construction. General terms should be so limited in their application as not to lead to injustice, oppression, or an absurd consequence. It will always be presumed that the legislature intended exceptions to its language which would avoid results of this character. The reason of the law in such cases should prevail over its letter.” [Rector, Etc., Of Holy Trinity Church v. United States, 143 U.S. 457; 12 S.Ct. 511 (1892)]

You may ask yourselves what it is that I am referring to which invokes the doctrine, void for vagueness? I have constructed an Article for the Illinois Constitution which addresses the issue of legislative clarity, authority, and organization. I don’t know how many of you have taken the time to peruse the Illinois Compiled Statutes, but I honestly doubt there is “sensible construction” which is discernable to a man of “common intelligence”.  For example, a search of the Illinois Vehicle Code for the word “resident”, produces this result:

(625 ILCS 5/1‑173) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 1‑173)
Sec. 1‑173. Resident.
(a) Every natural person who resides in this state shall be deemed a resident of this State.
(b) In the case of a firm, copartnership or association, if the principal place of business of such firm, copartnership or association is located in the State of Illinois, then such firm, copartnership or association shall be deemed a resident of the State of Illinois.
(c) In the case of a corporation, if the corporation was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois or if the principal place of business of such corporation is in the State of Illinois, then such corporation shall be deemed a resident of the State of Illinois.
(Source: P.A. 76‑1586.)

Another example of “Persons” as defined in “The statute on statutes” reads:

(5 ILCS 70/1.05) (from Ch. 1, par. 1006)
Sec. 1.05. “Person” or “persons” as well as all words referring to or importing persons, may extend and be applied to bodies politic and corporate as well as individuals.
(Source: Laws 1945, p. 1717.)

Notice how there are three different references for state, State, and State of Illinois. If you are a “natural person” who “resides” in a lowercase state, then you are deemed to also “reside” in “this State”. In other words, it may be saying, “If you live here, you shall be deemed to live Here.” However, subsections (b) and (c) seem able to say exactly what they  mean. If a copartnership is located in the State of Illinois, then such shall be deemed to be a resident of the State of Illinois. Is there a difference between state and State? How come subsection (a) doesn’t say, “Every natural peson who resides in the State of Illinois shall be deemed a resident of the State of Illinois?” If the State of Illinois apparently does not pertain to “natural persons”, and state or State so, what is a state?

(625 ILCS 5/1‑195) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 1‑195)
Sec. 1‑195. State.
A state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or a province of the Dominion of Canada.
(Source: P.A. 76‑1586.)

Is this definition meaning to say that a state is a state, as well as a territory or possession of the United States…., or is it saying that a state is a state of the United States, or a territory of the United States, or a possession of the United States…..? Is Illinois a state of the United States? No. The United States is ONLY the federal government comprised of the area of Washington, D.C., as well as federal territories, possessions, and enclaves located within the states. The union of 50 states is named the united States of America. The federal government is the government of the united States. The word “of” means owing its source or origination to, deriving its power or origin to. Illinois is not a consequence of the federal government, the federal government was created by an act between the states. When the word “United States” is used it applies only to the federal government and not the state governments. This is why murder is not identified as a crime in the United States Code. Murder of a particular officer of the United States within United States or federal jurisdiction is a crime under the United States Code, but murder of a free man or woman is not a crime cognizable under federal law. Let’s look at the “Commonwealth of Puerto Rico” and “possession of the United States”. If we look to the United States Codes, we can find one definition which is illustrating:

TITLE 26 > Subtitle F > CHAPTER 79 > § 7701 (d) Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Where not otherwise distinctly expressed or manifestly incompatible with the intent thereof, references in this title to possessions of the United States shall be treated as also referring to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Here are a few other examples of definitions found in the United States Code:

(9) United States
The term “United States” when used in a geographical sense includes only the States and the District of Columbia.

(10) State
The term “State”shall be construed to include the District of Columbia, where such construction is necessary to carry out provisions of this title.

(c) Includes and including
The terms “includes” and “including” when used in a definition contained in this title shall not be deemed to exclude other things otherwise within the meaning of the term defined.

(30) United States person
The term “United States person” means—
(A) a citizen or resident of the United States,
(B) a domestic partnership,
(C) a domestic corporation,
(D) any estate (other than a foreign estate, within the meaning of paragraph (31)), and
(E) any trust if—
(i) a court within the United States is able to exercise primary supervision over the administration of the trust, and
(ii) one or more United States persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust.

Another example states:  (5 ILCS 70/1.14) (from Ch. 1, par. 1015)
Sec. 1.14. “State,” when applied to different parts of the United States, may be construed to include the District of Columbia and the several territories, and the words “United States” may be construed to include the said district and territories.
(Source: Laws 1945, p. 1717.)

What this definition is saying is that a State, when applied to different parts of the United States… What are the different parts of the United States? Well, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Trust, possessions and enclaves located within the several states which have been ceded to the United States government for carrying into effect the enumerated powers found in the Constitution of the United States of America. The parts of the United States I just listed are what is being referred to in “several territories”. So, the word State, when applied to the several territories, and the District of Columbia, and enclaves, and possessions, may be construed to include the District of Columbia and the several territories. You should pay particular attention to what is not being said, as well as what is being said. It does NOT say that, “State”, when applied to the several states, or the 50 states….. which is what would be required for that definition to apply to Illinois, or any of the other 49 states.

In the pursuit of thoroughness, I feel it necessary to also investigate the definition of “person”. I do this for obvious reasons. You may be thinking, “Who doesn’t know what a person is?” Well, possibly many of you. We saw an example of “natural person” above, but what is a person generally? Here is one example:

(h) “Person” includes any natural person, partnership, association, joint venture, trust, governmental entity, public or private corporation, health facility or other legal entity. (410 ILCS 305/3) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 7303)
(Source: P.A. 85‑677; 85‑679; 93‑482, eff. 8‑8‑03.)

I highlight “other legal entity” because people are NOT legal entities. Legal entities exist by way of acts of law, as in corporations or other legally formed bodies. Used in the context above, the phrase “natural person” applies to a man or woman who has taken a position involving some form of legal duty, thereby being required to act in the execution of that office, position, or duty. For a good example of the multiple uses of “person”, read this case here. After reading that case, read the information on this site for an interesting understanding of what a person, resident, individual…and so forth mean when used in statutes.

“Very interesting” you may say. So what? If you are satisfied with the role government has cast you in then no problem. However, if you would like to go back to the “crazy times” where people did not have to check the statutes, codes, and regulations before doing many of the day-to-day things of life without worrying if you need a permit, license, or may have to produce papers along the way, then I recommend a Constitutional article that avoids all of the aforegoing confusion and word-play. This will not prevent those who choose to adopt state-directed personas, but for the rest who prefer a simpler, freer life, I recommend the following language for a Constitutional Article addressing Legislative Clarity, Authority, and Organization. This article attempts to address the most common pitfalls of statutory construction that lends misinterpretation and misperception to many readings of the statutes.

Legislative Clarity, Authority, and Organization

All the laws of Illinois, which are general in nature, and passed by the Legislature, and which may apply to the People, shall be written only in the common language of the day, and shall not define any word(s) or phrases in any way whatsoever except in cases where such word(s) or phrases import more than one meaning, thus necessitating definition for the sake of clarity. Such laws shall state also the specific intent of the Legislature, the specific objects of the legislation, and the authority being exercised pursuant to the specific provision found in the Illinois Constitution.

The laws of Illinois shall be arranged according to the nature of the law and be clearly identified as being either mala in se, mala prohibita, administrative, contractual, admiralty/maritime, chancery, or equity. any law originating under any such nature shall declare its nature, as well as the intent of the legislature.

Laws which are mala in se shall be identified, charged, and prosecuted in accordance with the Common Law.

Laws which are mala prohibita shall find their authority only in the statutes, and be used to identify a crime, correct an existing deficiency, amend an existing deficiency, or otherwise expand the applicability of to address changing times, as governed by the Common Law.

Any form, contract, agreement, license, or other act finding its origin in any law, statute, code, regulation, rule, or ordinance shall clearly state and specify which jurisdictional nexus attaches as a result of any People(s) engaging in such.

All the laws of Illinois shall use the following words in accordance only with the following reserved definitions.

People or Peoples – Any and all natural-born, flesh and blood, male or female, sentient beings in their natural state, and claiming no political status other than Citizenship, which may be claimed or exercised as a result of their birth within a political jurisdiction. Citizen or citizen shall originate as a result of sovereign birthright or privilege of political status; the former being Capitalized, and the latter being lower-case. The word inhabitant may be used interchangeably with the words People or Peoples.

Person or Persons – Any and all incorporeal, fictitious, artificial, legal entities which find their origin in an act, or under the authority of the general government, the legislative, administrative, or judicial branch of Illinois. These words may also apply to People who have claimed a political status such as citizen. When used to identify People claiming the political status of citizen, the words person or persons shall be lower-case, and when referring to Sovereign People, shall be capitalized.

Individual or Individuals – Shall be used only to identify a singular People or Person, used immediately preceding People or Person, and only when the words Peoples or Persons would not provide clear definition or specificity.

Resident (all derivatives and tenses) – Shall apply only to incorporeal, fictitious, artificial, legal entities.

Domicile – Shall apply only to People or Peoples. The word Inhabit may be used interchangeably with domicile.

Research and Resources

Research and Resources

Research, commentary and analysis of Illinois Constitutions past and present. (This page is a work-in-progress. Some of the files can be quite large. Please be patient while information is compiled and uploaded to the site.)

Background

I would like to recommend this pamphlet written by the American Bar Association when it was only 50 years old. Even though I do not agree with much of what the Bar Association stands for today, this pamphlet was written when the concepts of individual liberty, state sovereignty, limited government, and a rule of law were still popular and fundamental to the scheme of American government. I suggest you read it carefully; it makes some good points. Remember that it was written by lawyers with the intent of educating people on their roles as citizens. I was skeptical at first, but found the work to be substantive and fairly honest. You won’t find the Bar Association stating such things in our current political climate, but in 1925 these things were just as much a concern and valid as they are today; today even more so. The piece foretells the future of what was to come, what has come to pass, and how it happened.

This piece is called “Understanding the Illinois Constitution”, 2001 Edition, put together by the Illinois Bar Foundation. I discuss this in detail on my Analysis and Commentary page, but nevertheless it is a dumbded-down, pretentious and sophomoric work that is not without its adequate historical commentary. An astute student of law, rights, or constitutions should be able to pick this apart rather easily. It is insightful as a reference to how the oligarchy thinks and dissembles in preservation of their class and status.

Research Materials

Annotated Constitutional Convention of Illinois 1870 (7 parts)  THESE FILES ARE LARGE AND MAY TAKE SOME TIME TO DOWNLOAD

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7

Lists of Suggestions for Constitutional Change Together With Texts of Constitutions of Illinois (1919)

This was prepared by for the 1919 Constitutional Convention convened for possibly amending the 1870 Constitution. Even though the convention did not produce a new constitution (it was rejected by the voters) it does a good job of reviewing all the prior constitutions. The information is relevant in explaining the state of the constitution up to the 1870 revision.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Constitutional Development in Illinois  Second Edition.

This was prepared  as a guide for the voters in considering a possible constitution by the 1919 Constitutional Convention.

History of Constitutional Conventions in Illinois

Due Process of Law in Relation to Statutory Uncertainty and Constructive Offenses, Giving Much Needed Enlightenment to Legislators, Bar and Bench

This was written by a Lawyer named Theodore Schroeder in 1908 in cooperation with the Free Speech League. The piece deals with mischief arising from misconstruction of law and statutory uncertainty. It is an honest and educational piece that discusses the true nature of law. Highly recommended for fundamental understanding of what “law” actually is, and is not.

Due Process of Law in Relation to Statutory Uncertainty and Constructive Offenses

Record of Proceedings, Sixth Illinois Constitutional Convention

This is an excellent resource for seeing what went into the most recent Illinois Constitution. I’m sorry they did not include the committee proceedings because that is where much of the meat would be regarding the final version of the articles. Nevertheless, you will be able to see who was involved in the various committees, what associations and parties were allowed to address the convention on different issues, and what influences eventually won out in crafting the final versions of the articles. This file is large (174MB), and in Adobe PDF format. It is worth the time to peruse, particularly the Bill of Rights. Definitely a good, comprehensive, and educational resource on what goes into a constitutional convention, and how politics managed to infiltrate the minds of the people creating our organic law. Other good resources of information from the Legislative Research Unit can be downloaded from their site.

Record of Proceedings, Sixth Illinois Constitutional Convention

Con-Con Issues for the Illinois Constitutional Convention. Papers prepared by the Constitution Research Group. Samuel K. Grove, Director, Victoria Ranney, Editor. University of Illinois Press.

This book was written to study the possible facing the Constitutional Convention of 1969. There is good, albeit misleading, information that dilutes or avoids the true nature of sovereignty and limited government. I am hoping to annotate this work, but time is at a premium. A good read if you’re looking for perspective on what government believes to be important issues; as well as how they interpret our constitution. This file is in Adobe PDF format and is 9MB in size.

Con-Con – Issues for the Illinois Constitutional Convention.

The Illinois Constitution, theory of government in general and a "sovereign people".

The Illinois Constitution, theory of government in general and a “sovereign people”.

Let me begin by stating that I do affirm to being somewhat of a hypocrite. Here I am, taking much time and effort to construct a site with information to educate people about the theory regarding our system of state government; yet I do so reluctantly because it is the in-application of that theory, and the ongoing misperception that our present government is a manifestation of the supreme will of a sovereign people, which has begotten the lie before us, which is nothing less than a metastasizing police state. I hate to say that we, being a sovereign people, could not be further from the truth. What we have before us today, both as a society and as a government, is a result of our own self-aggrandizement and megalomaniacal beliefs that we are both free and self-governing. I ask myself how a People can cite, quote, defend and rely upon a document that many have never seen, read, nor understand. It hasn’t been until fairly recently that I have come to understand, through exhaustive study, just what goes in to a constitution, as well as the convention creating such, and the application and interpretation of the different branches of government. What I have discovered is that people are not disposed to interpret the constitution, but rather government assumes the authority to interpret the constitution. The people lie dormant, ignorant, and uninterested.

I will save many of the details framing my argument for other pages that provide proper context, but my argument is based upon some very simple precepts that, if taken at face value, give rise to serious questions about the lawfulness, propriety, efficacy, applicability and authority of the government that has been created by some. I say that the constitution was written by a few, posed to the many, allowed to be voted upon by the select, and imposed upon the consenting. A few questions should come to mind when someone spews ideological platitudes about the constitution.  First, who wrote the constitution; who voted to give any delegates that authority; who voted to ratify or reject the proposed constitution; who was given permission pursuant to that constitution to vote for the people who would hold office and pass legislation imposed upon the people; who gave their consent to be bound by that document and where does that consent exist for all to see?

If one is to be honest with themselves then these questions should not be easily dismissed. I would welcome a detailed answer on any of the issues presented. The conundrum presented arises from a reading of the Declaration of Independence where it says, …”governments are instituted amongst men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Since it can be said that a constitution is a document outlining the repository of power under which a government may justly act, from where does the consent of those who deposit their power exist? How does one consent, through the constitution, and what of those who do not consent?

Discussions on the oath for serving as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1870.

There was some discussion on whether there needed to be an oath at all. Some believed an oath was necessary, as it may include supporting the Constitution of the United States and the State of Illinois, while others thought the phrase “and of the State of Illinois” superfluous and unnecessary. Some of the reasoning being, how could one support something, abiding by its rules, ensuing legislation and boundaries in toto; while at the same time possibly finding fault with those provisions and seeking to revise, alter, amend or abolish those provisions? If one swears to uphold the Constitution of the State of Illinois, are they not also swearing to uphold any legislation or statutes that are not inharmonious as well? Are not constitutional laws an extension of the constitution; expounded upon and specifically applied through legislative authority? Is it only a cursory understanding of the Constitution of the State of Illinois which is needed, or a broad and exhaustive understanding of the positive law and statutes, as well as judicial interpretations, that is required to adhere to such an oath? Has every law or statute been challenged on constitutional grounds? Has every judicial interpretation that supports some laws on a constitutional basis, despite how repugnant or contrary to the reason or will of the People such may seem, been examined for error or mischief? If not, then how can this body, both collectively and severally, take and be bound by an oath to support that which they are not aware or do not fully understand? Will an oath also be required for each delegate to swear that they possess the knowledge and wisdom to make such interpretations? If so, then I wish to witness and then examine the first who will accept such responsibility.

The delegation, as it sits in assembly, is a manifestation of the legislature through their statutory exercise. However, from what authority did the original convention of 1818 derive its power? There were no statutes; there was no legislature to bind the delegates to creating something other than what sprung from their free-will or reason in crafting a document for the sole purpose of creating a defined, enumerated government for protecting their rights, property and liberty. That original body acted of its own volition with no oversight, save for that of the People who would vote on the fruits of that convention. If the Constitution is the organic law of the State, then how can a legislature, statute, or oath bind the delegates to anything other than that what is truly the giver of power, the People? I believe no oath is required. Nevertheless, if an oath is to be demanded by the majority of the delegation, then an oath to the People, represented by the delegation assembled, and seeking to craft a document to create a state government; limited in scope, and enumerated in power, deriving such from the consent of the governed and amenable to any of abuse of such power being subject to the reserved rights of the People to withdraw their consent immediately upon any perceived abuse of the delegated powers or a violation of individual rights. An oath, that considers first, the natural, unalienable and innumerable rights of the individual People; and second, the civil and political rights of the Citizen.

I find it contradictory to pledge any oath to the Constitution of the United States. To take such an oath requires an understanding; but first, an interpretation of that document. The courts of this land cannot settle on the meaning of the different provisions of the Constitution given their varied and differing interpretations. Until the Supreme Court of the United States makes the final determination, that is still only binding on the courts and not the legislative or executive, there will be as many interpretations of the Constitution as there are men who will read it. It is difficult to believe that when taking such an oath it is understood by all that what Ithey believe the Constitution to mean is the same as any other delegates understanding. The Constitution of the Unites States is not subject to interpretation by the federal government, since it is the People who crafted it and the States who are bound by it. How can a document that breathes life into a political body then be examined, interpreted, and applied by the very thing it creates? The federal government exists secondarily, and subordinate to, the several states. It is the central deposition of limited and enumerated power for achieving specific and limited ends. All other power remains with the People or their State. The delegates of the Convention, not able to fully understand the meaning of the United Stated Constitution since they are not the ones who wrote it, can only be concerned with deciding how much of the People’s sovereignty may be considered to be delegated to the State for effecting the safety and happiness of the Citizens. As long as the laws of the State are not out of harmony with the laws of the United States, notwithstanding the reserved powers through the ninth and tenth amendments, the power of the People to do what they will is limitless. With the increasing encroachment of federal power into the states and the dilution of state sovereignty through “necessary and proper” and “commerce clause” misapplication, we could craft a constitution that simply states, “We are a totalitarian outcropping of federal authority” and be in perfect harmony with the United States Constitution.

What's the Point?

What is a constitution and why do we need one? Let’s take it a step further and discuss first who We are. Without We, there is no constitution. We are our own masters. We are the People. The People are Sovereign. Sovereignty is an important word. It is important that you understand the idea of sovereignty.

Sovereignty is the closest we can get to being kings and queens. Sovereignty used to be equated with being bestowed the divine providence to rule over others. On earth, there is nothing more authoritarian or absolute than sovereignty. Sovereignty is absolute, it is supreme, and it cannot be taken away. Sovereignty must be viewed as being in relation to something else. Royalty used to be considered sovereign. They were sovereign in relation to their subjects. All royalty was sovereign unto themselves, and therefore none above the other. Only in relation to their subjects.

The founding fathers took the idea of sovereignty and applied it to the People. Since tyranny and despotism could be exercised by one man, a sovereign king, they felt it best to recognize People as being the true sovereigns; each in their own individual capacity and equal as in relation to each other. No man would rule over another. Therefore, every individual would be their own sovereign; with absolute control and authority over their own life; and respecting the like sovereignty of their fellow men.

There isn’t much talk about sovereignty these days. The word has been relegated to the same cluttered drawer where words like liberty, tyranny, despotism, and freedom are kept. They are taken out from time to time and curiously inspected; often evoking faded notions of their invocation during some long-forgotten civics lesson in high school; but are eventually tossed back into the junk drawer in exchange for more germane and contemporary words like necessity, civil rights, privileges and benefits. This has been accomplished by design through our government schools and the incremental disseverment of the People’s sovereignty. We need to reeducate our children with the fundamentals of that notion of being individually supreme.

We will sometimes hear sovereignty mentioned when the government is asserting its sovereignty. Government claims to be immune from accountability for its actions because of sovereign immunity. This means that government claims to be immune from any responsibility for wrongs it may cause because it is above being accountable to its subjects. Does government have sovereignty? Yes. It has a limited amount of sovereignty that came from the People, in bestowing some of their sovereignty upon the government, to allow it to act in accordance with the People’s wishes as defined in their constitution: and only then in providing enough immunity so as to protect the People’s individual sovereignty. Government’s sovereignty is not absolute, plenary, or inherent. The People have given it, and the People can take it away. The People possess what is more often referred to as “popular sovereignty”. They give government as much sovereign immunity as it needs to protect the People, but not for the government to protect itself against the People.

Eventually, we would have had a land with a large number of sovereign people living amongst themselves and exercising their rights unencumbered by any authority. However, man being the imperfect being that he is, sought to rule his fellow man despite whatever sovereignty they may possess; and collectively people established rules and laws as well as governing institutions needed to carry out these laws. Likewise, when governing institutions, obviously occupied by imperfect people, assumed too much authority, people sought then to limit government by building a framework for it to operate within, called a constitution. The constitution is the bridge between a sovereign people and the governmental institutions they create. The constitution breathes life into every office and position occupied by imperfect people. When those positions abuse their power or act in a way that is detrimental to the People’s rights or liberties, then that office is no longer acting in accordance with the People’s will. If someone in office steps outside their constitutional authority then they lose that authority and stand as naked aggressors against the People and must be dealt with harshly. Such is the state of our government today.

We are under assault by naked aggressors who attempt to cloak themselves in the gossamer armor comprised of the color-of-law. Their protection is transparent and paper thin. It is we who are armed with the might and force of fire and steel. They are no match against a well-armed, righteously indignant populace. However, we have allowed them to deceive us though trickery and indoctrination into believing that reaching for our fire and steel will only do us harm, and that it is better to approach them with pleas and humble words when begging for our liberties to be restored or our rights to be acknowledged.

A new constitution, a proper constitution, taking into account the failings of the previous document; along with the record behind us showing a steady stream of violations and usurpations perpetrated by government; should provide the proper relief from; and establish appropriate bars to, further transgressions until government again finds chinks in our armor for it to exact further harm or seize more control, thus necessitating future constitutions in attempting to remedy any potential flaws in the ones that follow the next. It is a never ending battle that we should be so ever eager to embrace.

Analysis of the Article, "Right to Arms" with annotations.

Also see relevant photos from “Making a Modern Constitution: The Illinois Experience”

SIXTH ILLINOIS CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION (1970)

Analysis of the Article, “Right to Arms” with annotations.

Right to Arms

The Committee voted 12 to 3 to add to the Bill of Rights the following new provision concerning the right to arms. “Subject only to the police powers of the State, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” This provision affirms the right of the individual citizen to possess and use arms, including firearms. It also makes explicit the principle that this right is not absolute, but is subject to regulations required by the safety and good order of society. Since the right to arms provision is new, it will be helpful to put it in perspective by reviewing comparable provisions in the United States Constitution and in the constitutions of the several states.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution provides: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The United States Supreme Court has referred to this guarantee as being limited to arms that have “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia . . . .” United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, 178 (1939) subject to regulations required by the safety and good order of society. Since the right to arms provision is new, it will be helpful to put it in perspective by reviewing comparable provisions in the United States Constitution and in the constitutions of the several states.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution provides: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The United States Supreme Court has referred to this guarantee as being limited to arms that have “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia. . . .” United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, 178 (1939).  The Illinois Supreme Court has recently declared that “regulation which does not impair the maintenance of the State’s active, organized militia is not in violation of either the terms or the purposes of the Second Amendment.” Brown v. City of Chicago, 42 Ill. 2d 501, 504, 250 N.E. 2d 129, 131 (1969).

It appears from these interpretations that the Second Amendment language only refers to a collective right, which must be reasonably connected to the maintenance of a militia or other form of common defense. Thirty-five state constitutions have provisions concerning the right to keep or bear arms. Seven of these are cast in the language of the Second Amendment, although two omit the introductory reference to the militia. Four other states (Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Tennessee) use phraseology that is different, but which seems clearly limited to a collective right. The Massachusetts provision reads: “The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defense.” Six state constitutions clearly declare an individual right to arms in language similar to the following provision from the Connecticut constitution: “Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.” Columbia University Legislative Drafting Research Fund, CONSTITUTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, Vols. 1 & 2 (1962); McKenna, The Right to Keep and Bear Arms, 12 MARQ. L. REV. 138 (1928). Alaska, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina. 1970 — COMMITTEE PROPOSALS 85 Alabama, Arizona, and Washington use practically identical language. Texas is similar except that it refers also to the right to “keep” arms. Michigan is like Texas except that it refers to “every person.” Five other state constitutions have a lengthier provision that also expresses an individual right. Colorado, Missouri, Montana and Oklahoma all have provisions similar to the following section from the Mississippi Constitution: “The right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but the legislature may regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons.” The provisions of thirteen states are unclear on whether the right to arms is only a collective right, for the common defense, or whether it also guarantees a right to the individual. Eight of these seem to imply an individual right. These declare that “the people” or “the citizens” or “all men” have “a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the state.” But see Pierce v. State 42 Okla. Cr. 272, 275 P. 393 (1929), holding that the protection given the individual by the Oklahoma provision only extends to arms in common use by a militia. Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. But see Carlton v. State, 63 Fla. 1, 58 So 486 (1912), limiting the Florida provision to a collective right. Five others seem to imply a collective right. These declare that “the people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security ….” By referring to “the individual citizen” and to the right to “keep” as well as to “bear” arms, the proposed new provision guarantees an individual right rather than a collective right and seeks to assure that the “arms” involved are not limited by the armaments or needs of the state militia or other military body.

The substance of the right is that a citizen has the right to possess and make reasonable use of arms that law-abiding persons commonly employ for purposes of recreation or the protection of person and property. Laws that attempted to ban all possession or use of such arms, or laws that subjected possession or use of such arms to regulations or taxes so onerous that all possession or use was effectively banned, would be invalid. Idaho, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio and Utah. Compare City of Salina v. Blaksley, 72 Kan. 230, 83 Pac. 619 (1905), and similar holdings under constitutional provisions concerning only a collective right. People v. Brown, 253 Mich. 537, 541-42, 235 N.W. 245, 246-47 (1931); State v. Duke, 42 Tex. 455, 458 (1875). In re Brickley, 8 Idaho 597, 70 Pac. 609 (1902); People v. Zerillo, 219 Mich. 635, 189 N.W. 927 (1922); State v. Kerner, 181 N.C. 574, 107 S.E. 222 (1921). The introductory phrase makes explicit the well settled principle that the right to keep and bear arms is subject to the police power. Thus, in the earliest Illinois decision on the permissible regulatory power concerning firearms, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the validity of a Chicago ordinance that required that all sellers and buyers of pistols obtain a license. The Court’s reasoning contained this far-reaching dictum: “It is clear, under the authorities, that the sale of deadly weapons may be absolutely prohibited under the police power of the State, and to do this in no way conflicts with the provision of the constitution of the United States and of various state constitutions that ‘the people have a right to bear arms for their defense and security.’ [cites] If the State has the right to prohibit, such right necessarily includes the power of regulating, and the power to regulate includes the power of licensing.” Biffer v. City of Chicago, 278 Ill. 562, 570, 116 N.E. 182, 185 (1917). The Supreme Court cited this case with approval in its recent opinion upholding the validity of the Chicago gun registration ordinance. Brown v. City of Chicago, 42 Ill. 2d 501, 504, 250 N.E. 2d 129, 131 (1969).

Because arms pose an extraordinary threat to the safety and good order of society, the possession and use of arms is subject to an extraordinary degree of control under the police power. The five succeeding paragraphs describe regulatory State v. Dawson, 272 N.C. 535, 548, 159 S.E. 2d 1, 11 (1968); Hill v. Georgia, 53 Ga. 472, 477 (1874); People v. Brown, 253 Mich. 537, 235 N.W. 245 (1931); FREUND, POLICE POWER,§90 (1904). 88 SIXTH ILLINOIS CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION measures, including some outright prohibitions, that have been approved as not constituting an unconstitutional infringement of even an individual as well as a collective right to arms. The state may altogether prohibit the possession of certain deadly weapons not commonly and peacefully used by individuals, such as machine guns, firearms equipped with silencing devices, gas-ejecting devices, blackjacks, artillery weapons, bombs, etc. The State may forbid or regulate the possession or use of firearms by minors or by persons whose physical or mental disabilities or violent propensities shown by prior criminal conduct present unacceptable risks of danger to themselves or others. To implement this power, “to provide a system of identifying persons who are not qualified to acquire or possess firearms” (Ill. Rev. Stats., 1969, ch. 38, §83-1), the state may adopt a reasonable licensing law pertaining to those who possess or use firearms. Many states have done so.12/ Illinois adopted such legislation in 1969 (Ibid.) 10/ People v. Brown, 253 Mich. 537, 235 N.W. 245 (1931) (blackjack); Morrison v. State, 170 Tex. Crim. 218, 339 S.W. 2d 529 (1960) (machinegun). 11/ See Ill. Stats., 1969, ch. 38, §24-3.1. Decisions include: Glenn v. State, 10 Ga. App. 128, 72 S.E. 927 (1911) (possession of pistol by minors); Mason v. State, 39 Ala. App. 1, 103 So. 2d 337 (1956), aff’d. 267 Ala. 507, 103 So. 2d 341 (1958) (possession of pistol by persons convicted of crime of violence); State v. Robinson, 217 Ore. 612, 343 P. 2d 886 (1959) (possession of concealable weapons by convicted felon); Webb v. State, 439 S.W. 2d 342 (Tex. Crim. App. 1969) (same); City of Akron v. Williams , 113 Ohio App. 293, 177 N.E. 2d 802 (1960), rev’d. on other g’nds., 175 Ohio St. 186, 192 N.E. 2d 63 (1963) (possession of any firearms by convicted felon). 12/ Matthews v. State, 237 Ind. 677, 148 N.E. 2d 334 (1958); Note, 98 U. Pa. L. Rev. 905 (1950). 1970 — COMMITTEE PROPOSALS 89 The State may prohibit or regulate the carrying of concealed weapons, and may implement this power by licensing laws. Numerous court decisions sustain this power and many states have exercised it.

The State may also regulate or prohibit the carrying of weapons openly when there is no good reason for such action and the regulation bears a fair relation to the preservation of public peace and safety. The State may regulate the purchase and sale of weapons, even to the extent of totally prohibiting the sale of some weapons in some circumstances. McKenna, The Right to Keep and Bear Arms, 12 MARQ. L. REV. 138, 143-44 (1928); Note, 3 L.R.A. (N.S.) 168, 169 (1906); Note, 98 U. PA. L. REV. 905, 908-9 (1950). State v. Dawson, 272 N.C. 535, 159 S.E. 2d 1 (1968) (sustains constitutionality of common-law offense of going armed with dangerous weapons to the terror of the people); Haile v. State, 38 Ark. 564 (1882); Hill v. Georgia, 53 Ga. 472 (1874); 564 (1882); Commonwealth v. Murphy, 166 Mass. 171, 44 N.E. 138 (1896); Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1885); State v. Duke, 42 Tex. 455 (1875). 15/ Biffer v. City of Chicago, 278 Ill. 562, 116 N.E. 182 (1917), quoted above; State v. Burgoyne, 75 Tenn. 173 (1881); Caswell & Smith v. State, Tex., 148 S.W. 1159 (1912) (confiscatory tax); Strickland v. State, 137 Ga. 1, 72 S.E. 260 (1911). An exercise of the police power that results in inconvenience or loss to individuals must of course find basis in the doctrine of overruling necessity or bear some substantial relation to the public good, and it must also be consistent with other Bill of Rights guarantees such as Due Process and Equal Protection of the laws.

In upholding some of the licensing measures or other regulations described above, some state courts have relied on specific provisions in their Bill of Rights providing that the right to bear arms was subject to regulation by the legislature. The conferring of specific regulatory authority is unnecessary, since the state enjoys such authority in any case. Nevertheless, as a matter of “super-abundant caution,” the proposed new provision makes the declared right subject “to the police powers of the State.” This reference to the police power “of the State” of course also includes an exercise of police power by cities and villages or other instrumentalities of government to whom state power has been validly delegated. As the Illinois Supreme Court stated in City of Chicago v. O’Connell, 278 Ill. 591, 603, 606, 116 N.E. 210, 214, 215 (1917): 16/ Chicago Park Dist. v. Canfield, 370 Ill. 447, 451-52, 19 N.E. 2d 376, 378 (1939); State v. Dawson, 272 N.C. 535, 547, 159 S.E. 2d 1, 10 (1968). Haile v. State, 38 Ark. 564, 567 (1882), quoted with approval in State v. Dawson, 272 N.C. 535, 548, 159 S.E. 2d 1, 11 (1968). “The police power may be exercised by the legislature directly, or it may be exercised indirectly by conferring the power upon agencies created by the legislature. . . . ‘The City, as the representative of the State, is invested with power to enact and enforce all ordinances necessary to prescribe regulations and restrictions needful for the preservation of the health, safety and comfort of the people.'” The Illinois Supreme Court has recently upheld the validity of the Chicago gun registration ordinance. The Court held that the state legislation that required the registration of gun owners did not preempt the field of gun control and deprive the city of power to deal with the subject by an ordinance that was not inconsistent with the state legislation. Brown v. City of Chicago, 42 Ill. 2d 501, 504, 250 N.E. 2d 129, 131 (1969). The new provision is similar to Proposal 105, which provides that the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms should not be infringed except for the mentally ill or convicted felons. Proposals 13 and 502 would have prohibited laws requiring the registration of gun owners or guns. Proposal 80 would have forbidden laws requiring registration or imposing special taxes on firearms. Proposal 470 would have invalidated laws infringing the right to possess and use firearms to safeguard one’s life, but would have authorized the Legislature to regulate weapons used for hunting and other sports. Proposal 526 sought to employ the Second Amendment language that “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” A minority of the Committee supported Proposal 220, to the effect that the Bill of Rights should contain no provision -10- §27 concerning the right to keep or bear arms. They were fearful that any mention of this subject in the Bill of Rights might cast doubt upon the validity of existing provisions for licensing gun owners or registering firearms, or might discourage or cast doubt upon the validity of future measures to control guns.

Citing evidence of the increased possession of firearms, especially handguns, and of the high rate of involvement of firearms in home accidents and in crimes of violence, the minority urged the inappropriateness of any constitutional provision that could possibly interfere with efforts to impose reasonable controls on the possession and use of firearms, especially handguns. SCHEDULE A Proposals Considered By Committee The following proposals were examined and considered by the Bill of Rights Committee during its deliberations: NUMBER CHIEF SPONSOR SUBJECT MATTER Dwight P. Friedrich Right to Bear Arms Matthew Hutmacher Preamble Ted A. Borek Preamble Ralph Dunn Preamble John D. Wenum Equal Opportunity Richard K. Cooper Fair Employment Richard K. Cooper Open Housing Clifford L. Downen Right to Bear Arms Joseph A. Tecson Right to Privacy Wendell Durr Right to Bear Arms Francis X. Lawlor Right to Bear Arms Betty Howard Protection from financial slander Henry C. Hendren Right to Bear Arms Henry C. Hendren Abortion Robert Butler Bill of Rights Ronald C. Smith Preamble Mary Lee Leahy Right to Public Information James Gierach Eminent Domain SCHEDULE B Witnesses Heard By Committee The witnesses who appeared before the Bill of Rights Committee are listed in this section according to subject matter.

Where applicable, the witness is identified according to group affiliation. In the case of witnesses heard in Chicago or Waukegan by the committee, no group affiliation is made. The notation Chicago or Waukegan after a witness identifies where testimony was given to the committee. If no notation of location is made, testimony was given in Springfield. In some instances, witnesses were heard on items which the committee took no action. These witnesses are also listed by subject. Because of the large number of witnesses, it is probable that several have been omitted by inadvertence; for which our apologies. All members of the committee were invited to produce witnesses, but in some instances arrangements could not be completed. In some instances, communications were received from persons unable to appear. RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS Wendell Durr, Delegate Clifford L. Downen, Delegate Henry C. Hendren, Delegate Dwight Friedrich, Delegate Franklin Zimring, Professor of law, University of Chicago Marvin Aspen, assistant corporation counsel, Chicago Chief Michael Spiotto, Chicago Police Department David Goldberger, American Civil Liberties Union Robert Kukla, Illinois Rifle Association Jeff Fitzwillia, Chicago  SCHEDULE C MATERIALS UTILIZED BY THE COMMITTEE LEGAL AND RESEARCH ADVISOR’S MEMORANDA (“L.A.R.A.M.”) A major source material studied by the Bill of Rights Committee were the Legal and Research Advisor’s Memoranda (“L.A.R.A.M.”) specially prepared by the Committee’s Counsel, Professor Dallin H. Oaks, and University of Chicago Law School students working under his direction. The students were: James Franczek (J.F.), Joseph H. Grobert (J.H.G.), Randolph N. Jonakait (R.N.J.), David Krott (D.K.), Peter C. Partnow (P.C.P.), and Katherine B. Soffer (K.B.S.). Following is a list of the 50 L.A.R.A.M.’s considered by the Committee, which comprised a total of 660 pages. Following this list there is a summary of the contents of the memoranda, arranged according to the various sections of the existing Bill of Rights and proposed additions. L.A.R.A.M. Title or Subject # 1 Suggested Organization for Consideration of Bill of Rights Topics # 2 Aid to Nonpublic Schools # 3 The Grand Jury Indictment # 4 Stop and Frisk # 5 Religion # 6 Capital Punishment # 7 Provision on Group (Ethnic) Libel # 8 Official to Receive Citizen Complaints # 9 Regulation of Arms #10 Bail and Preventive Detention #11 Jury Trial in Civil Cases #12 Truth as a Defense to Libel #13 Limitation of Criminal Penalties #14 Reduction of Poverty #15 The Privilege Against Self-incrimination #16 Investigative Interrogation #17 Imprisonment for Debt #18 Sex Discrimination #19 The Right to Be Represented by Counsel and the Right to Be Provided with Counsel in Noncriminal Proceedings #20 Railroad Easement #21 Right to Privacy #22 Right to Speedy Trial #23 Chicago Hearings #24 Equal Protection Clause #25 Alternatives on Right to Bear Arms #26 Topics for Decision Day February 25th: I. Inherent and Inalienable Rights, II. Fundamental Principles, III. Preamble, IV. Relations with the Military, V. Provision on Free Elections, VI. Free Speech Provision, VII. The Right to Bear Arms, VIII. Habeas Corpus – 2 – L.A.R.A.M. Title or Subject #27 State Constitutional Provisions on Press, Speech, and Assembly #28 Rights of Public and Private Employees #29 Proposal on Eminent Domain #30 Proposals on Discrimination #31 Proposal on Hortatory Statement Concerning Remedy #32 Opinion on Provision Concerning Right to Bear Arms Section of 1870 Bill of Rights Related L.A.R.A.M.’s and Summary of Contents (L.A.R.A.M. included partial or complete text of all sources cited here) Preamble #35 (p. 24) Includes state constitutional provisions and Illinois case law which indicate that the preamble is to be used as substantive law for the protection of individuals, and comments on a related proposal. #26 (III) Compares language of present and proposed preambles. §1 Inherent and Inalienable Rights NEW PROVISIONS OR PROPOSED NEW PROVISIONS: Arms #9, Regulation of Arms D. Newton and F. Zimring, Firearms and Violence in American Life: A Staff Report to the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, 253-62 (1969). #25, Alternative on Right to Bear Arms #26 (VII) Includes an analysis of the right to bear arms #32, Opinion on Provision Concerning Right to Bear Arms Additional material consulted by the Bill of Rights Committee (A partial list.) A Proposed Draft of the Constitution of Illinois prepared by certain students of Elk Grove High School, Township High School District 214. Abortion and the Law. Newsweek, April 13,1970. Facts and Figures About Non-public Schools in Illinois (Revised–January, 1970) Illinois Catholic Conference. A Study of Nonpublic Schools. Prepared for the General Advisory Committee, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Case for State Aid for Non-Public Schools. By Monsignor Laurence J. O’Connell, Secretary of Education, Diocese of Belleville. Constitution of the State of Illinois. Proposed by Illinois Jaycee Model Constitutional Convention, November 21-23, 1969. Springfield. Fact Pack on Firearms Ownership. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. Does Firearms Registration Work? A Statistical Analysis of New York State and New York City. By Alan S. Krug, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. Memorandum of Richard Wexler with respect to Eminent Domain.

Current Constitutional and Statutory Aspects of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, by Alan S. Krug. “The Lost Amendment,” by Robert A. Sprecher. American Bar Association Journal, June, 1965. MINORITY PROPOSAL 1H BE IT PROPOSED: That Section 27, entitled “Right to Arms”, in the majority proposal of the Bill of Rights Committee be deleted. MINORITY REPORT IH The minority of the Committee submit that it would be unwise and dangerous to add a new provision to the Illinois Constitution creating an individual right to keep and bear arms. The Committee proposal is so ambiguous and self-contradictory that lawyers cannot reasonably determine its meaning and effect. The Committee proposal would create uncertainty about the power of the legislature to enact gun control laws which may be needed in the interest of public safety. The Committee proposal would invite serious public misunderstanding and litigation challenging existing and future gun control legislation. The Committee proposal could even have the self-defeating effect of subjecting Illinois to a federal system of handgun licensing more stringent than would have been necessary otherwise. In view of the extraordinary threat to public safety posed by firearms, the Convention has  every responsibility not to recommend constitutional restrictions which might handicap the legislature in protecting the public. This is especially important in view of the huge supply of firearms in private hands in the United States and the alarming increases in recent years in homicides, attacks on police and other crimes usually committed with guns. No need has been shown for constitutional change on this subject. In our climate of concern about violence, a new constitutional right to bear arms is not the ethical message needed by the people of our state and our nation.

The Committee Proposal is Ambiguous and Self- Contradictory. It is difficult to determine the meaning and effect of the Committee proposal. The proposal declares an undefined individual right to keep and bear arms. The right is, however, completely subject to the vague concept of the “police powers” of the State. What kinds of laws would be prohibited by the Committee proposal? The majority report states that the proposed constitutional provision would not prohibit certain types of firearms laws which have been upheld by the courts, such as laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons, gun registration laws and gun owner licensing laws. The majority is silent, however, as to what new limits, if any, the Committee proposal would place on the power of the legislature to enact other types of gun control laws, laws which are not now on the books and have not been passed on by the courts, but which may be needed in the years to come to deal with the “extraordinary threat to the safety and good order of society” posed by arms. The only answer to this question offered in the majority report is the suggestion on page 4 that a law would be invalid if it “attempted to ban all possession or use” of “arms that law-abiding persons commonly employ for purposes of recreation or the protection of person or property.” However, it is difficult to reconcile this statement with the principle that the “right to keep and bear arms” is completely subject to “the police powers of the State” or with the statement on page 7 of the majority report that the State, acting under the police power, can totally prohibit the sale of “some weapons in some circumstances.” Indeed the majority report cites Biffer v. City of Chicago, 278 Ill. 562, 570 (1917) which said that “the sale of deadly weapons may be absolutely prohibited under the police power of the State. . .” The majority report thus mirrors the inconsistency and ambiguity which are central to the Committee proposal. On balance, however, the majority report appears to reflect the view expressed by most of the Committee members that the Committee proposal is not intended to prevent the legislature from passing such reasonable gun control legislation as Majority report, p. 5. -3- may be needed in the interest of public safety. Thus, the Committee proposal would add nothing to the existing requirement that any gun control legislation must meet constitutional standards of reasonableness. Because this interpretation would make the proposed constitutional change a meaningless act, and because of the ambiguity of the proposal, confusion and uncertainty would inevitably be created about the power of the legislature to pass certain types of gun control legislation which may be deemed necessary in the coming decades.

One type of legislation which may be challenged under the Committee proposal might be enacted under a recommendation of the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence. The Commission proposed federal legislation under which a federal system of handgun licensing would become applicable only to those states which, within a four-year period, failed to enact a state law restricting the possession of handguns to individuals showing a need to own  handguns. If such a federal law were enacted, the constitutional provision proposed See Majority report, pp. 1 (second paragraph), 5 to 7. As noted above, the majority report cites Biffer v. City of Chicago with apparent approval. Biffer was cited with approval in Brown v. City of Chicago, 42 Ill. 2d 501 (1969) upholding the validity of the Chicago gun registration ordinance. “To Establish Justice, To Insure Domestic Tranquility,” Final Report of the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, December 1969, Chapter 7, pp. 180- 182. -4- by the Committee could be self-defeating since the legislature or the courts might be persuaded that a state law of the type required would ban “all possession or use. . .of arms that law abiding persons commonly employ for purposes of recreation or the protection of the person or property.” The result would be to subject Illinois to a more stringent federal system of handgun licensing than would have been the case otherwise. It is not our purpose here to advocate the legislation recommended by the Violence Commission or any other particular gun control laws. We do submit, however, that the Convention should not approve a constitutional provision which is so ambiguous that lawyers cannot determine its meaning or effect.

Whatever interpretation would ultimately be given to the Committee proposal, its ambiguity and inconsistency seem certain to invite public misunderstanding and litigation challenging existing and future gun control laws. The general public cannot be expected to understand that since the proposed individual constitutional right is completely subordinate to the “police power” of the state, the “right” may turn our to be without content. This type of constitutional change is not likely to build public confidence in the work of the Convention. See 80 Harvard Law Review 1328, 1344 (1967). -5- 2. The Legislature Must Be Left With Broad Power To Enact Whatever Weapons Control Laws Are Needed In The Interest Of Public Safety. It is not the responsibility of the Constitutional Convention to decide what, if any, gun control laws should be adopted in Illinois. Nor is the Constitutional Convention equipped, as is the legislature, to gather the facts in order to decide from time to time what changes in our gun control laws are necessary. However, in view of the extraordinary threat to public safety posed by firearms, the Convention has  every responsibility not to recommend constitutional restrictions which might handicap the legislature in protecting the public. For many years, public officials concerned with law enforcement, including J. Edgar Hoover, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Conference of Mayors, have joined responsible leaders of both political parties in urging the need for more effective gun control laws to deal with the problem of violent crime in the United States.

Public opinion polls have shown repeatedly that See The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society, a Report by the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, Chapter 10 (1967). -6- the general public, including gun owners, favors stricter gun control legislation. Just last year the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence documented the problems arising from the huge supply of firearms in civilian hands in the United States. The Violence Commission estimated there are now 90,000,000 firearms in the United States. In recent years sales of firearms, particularly handguns, have risen sharply. The Commission concluded that “the urban arms build-up threatens not only to escalate future civil disorders, but also to bring with it greater misuse of firearms in crimes and accidents.” Among other key findings of the Violence Commission are the following: “Firearms are a primary instrument of injury and death in American crime. Two out of every three homicides are committed with guns. Since 1963 the number of homicides involving firearms has increased 48 percent in the United States while the number of homicides committed with other weapons has risen only 10 percent. A 1967 Gallup Poll showed the public favoring gun registration laws by 73% in the case of long guns and 85% in the case of handguns. During the past 10 years a series of Gallup Polls has found a strong majority of the public favoring a law under which it would be necessary to obtain a police permit before purchasing  handguns. Majorities favoring such a law have ranged as high as 78% (73% in the most recent 1967 Poll). Such laws have also been favored by a majority of gun owners (60% in 1965). 7/ “To Establish Justice, To Insure Domestic Tranquility,” Final Report of the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, December 1969, Chapter 7. See also the Commission’s Task Force Report “Firearms and Violence in American Life” by George D. Newton and Franklin E. Zimring. -7- “The deadliness of firearms is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that they are virtually the only weapons used in killing police officers. Policemen are armed. They are trained in the skills of self-defense. They expect trouble and are prepared for it. Yet, from 1960 through 1967, 411 police officers were killed in the course of their official duties — 76 of them in 1967 alone. Guns were used in 96 percent of these fatal attacks on police. “In assassinations, guns play a crucial role because they extend the deadliness and the effectiveness of the assassin. Of the nine assassination attempts on American presidents or presidential candidates, all involved firearms. All, except the assassination of President Kennedy, involved handguns. “Guns also play an increasingly deadly role in aggravated assault and robbery. In 1968, 23 percent of all aggravated assaults were committed with guns, as opposed to only 13 percent in 1963. One out of every three robberies (two out of every three armed robberies) is committed with a gun, and the fatality rate for victims of firearms robberies is almost four times as great as for victims of other armed robberies. “In all these violent crimes, handguns are the weapon predominantly used. Although only slightly more than one-fourth (or 24 million) of the firearms in the nation are handguns, they account for about half of all homicides and three-fourths of all firearms homicides. When firearms are involved in aggravated assaults and robberies in large cities, the handgun is almost invariably the weapon used.” During 1968, 68 police officers were killed in the line of duty. Guns were used in 96% of the fatal attacks on officers between 1960 and 1968. In the City of Chicago in 1968, 5 policemen were killed and 39 shot with firearms. In 1969, 9 were killed and 64 shot (information supplied by chief of Chicago Detectives Michael Spiotto) -8- In recent years the rhetoric of extremist groups urging their followers to arm themselves, together with fear of civil disorders, has contributed to a climate in which discussion of firearms legislation frequently becomes highly charged emotional debate. The Convention must seek to avoid such debate and focus instead on its responsibility to generations to come, whose problems in this field may be even more serious than ours. The proposed right to bear arms is without precedent in the Illinois Constitution. The report of the Committee mentions no reason whatever for adding a provision of this kind at this time. No need has been shown for constitutional change on this subject. In our climate of concern about violence, a new constitutional right to bear arms is not the ethical message needed by the people of our State and our nation. -9- 174

1) Since this provision is new, it is not to mean that the right never existed. The only thing this article does do is specify a specific right and not define an unalienable right. The Constitution cannot give people any rights. It may identify certain rights and specify certain conditions under which the government may infringe upon or limit those rights, but such intrusive powers only arise when the exercise of that right by individual People results in a conflict with, or infringement upon, other’s like-rights. Under those circumstances the constitution provides for a limited power to address a specific and limited issue arising from conflicts of the exercise of that right. This Article states that subject “only to the police power…”, which does not say, “Subject to the will of the Legislature….”. The police power has a limited and specific application and cannot infringe upon an already existing natural right. This article is thus misleading and contradictory and should be read in the context of having applications pertaining to commercial or regulatory actions; and not applicable to the private actions of private people who provide for their own safety and security, as well as that of their fellow Citizens.

2) Notice how this Supreme Court ruling applies to actions in “interstate commerce” of which authority is delegated under Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution of the United States.