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Old March 14, 2020, 11:33 AM   #1
Hal
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Mayor of Champaign signs EO to ban selling guns and ammo during declared emergency

Plenty of spin and double talk going on about this.
I'm surprised it hasn't popped up here on TFL - it all went on over the last three days.

Here is the link to the EO Mayor Deborah Feinen signed & apparently the city council approved.

https://www.wandtv.com/news/executiv...a7f3b3aee.html

Ignore her denial/spin and note that section 12-39 of the city code is mentioned. She does not deny she has the power to enforce the provisions of 12-39, all she says is those have been around for years.

Here's the link to all the powers she's just granted to herself:
https://library.municode.com/il/cham...UCO_CH12EMSEDI

Item # 6 deals with guns and ammo.
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Old March 14, 2020, 01:36 PM   #2
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I was wondering if something like this would pop up. Washington state seems ripe for this kind of action.
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Old March 14, 2020, 02:28 PM   #3
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Perversely, in the long term this may (or may not) turn out to be a good thing. It probably is correct that the underlying law has been there for years but, because it hasn't been invoked, nobody noticed it. Now people are noticing it. IF someone takes it to court, and IF the court shoots it down as being an unlawful infringement on a constitutional right, we'll be ahead. Of course, the court might uphold the law, and that would not be a good thing. (Although, given that the law is already there, it wouldn't exactly be a step backward, either.)
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Old March 14, 2020, 02:52 PM   #4
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The provisions of this law are exceeding broad, and could affect every citizen in Champaign:

Quote:
(8)
(a) Order City employees or agents, on behalf of the City, to take possession of any real or personal property of any person, or to acquire full title or such lesser interest as may be necessary to deal with a disaster or emergency, and to take possession of and for a limited time, occupy and use any real estate to accomplish alleviation of the disaster, or the effects thereof;

(b) In the event any real or personal property is utilized by the City, the City shall be liable to the owner thereof for the reasonable value of the use or for just compensation as the case may be.
For all the recent evens in the USA such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires, I'm not aware of any government entity that had to seize private property to respond to the emergency. What precedent or justification do they think exists for such broad powers?
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Old March 14, 2020, 05:41 PM   #5
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What precedent or justification do they think exists for such broad powers?
Beats me. It goes back to 2006 or so - from what I could gather.

Most disturbing is - Champaign is well away from Chicago & near the center of the state. From what I've been told, that part of the state is pretty conservative - unlike Chicago.

If a small fairly rural burg lie this can have some stuff like that available - I shudder to thinks what the liberal cities have available that's been overlooked.
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Old March 14, 2020, 07:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeverGunFan
For all the recent evens in the USA such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires, I'm not aware of any government entity that had to seize private property to respond to the emergency. What precedent or justification do they think exists for such broad powers?
If it hasn't been done before, there is no precedent. The law was enacted in 2006, so maybe someone from the area can remember if there was some sort of disaster or emergency in 2004 or 2005 that needed some sort of disaster response that the then-current laws didn't allow.

As for justification -- that would depend on the circumstances. As an example, maybe a tornado rips the roof off (or flattens) city hall. That would be a possible justification for occupying an office building somewhere as a temporary city hall. I can't see that any one incident would provide justification for invoking every potential item on the list of powers.
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Old March 14, 2020, 08:29 PM   #7
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A similar law was struck down here in 2012 (North Carolina).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_la...North_Carolina

Grass Roots North Carolina and the SAF were involved.

I can see the issue for police trying to watch out for looters but looters don't care about such laws and if ever there was a time to have a right to defend yourself, it would be during an emergency when the gov't feared looting.

May not set a presidence but it did happen.
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Old March 14, 2020, 10:00 PM   #8
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"Most disturbing is - Champaign is well away from Chicago & near the center of the state. From what I've been told, that part of the state is pretty conservative - unlike Chicago.

If a small fairly rural burg lie this can have some stuff like that available - I shudder to thinks what the liberal cities have available that's been overlooked. "

Might be in the middle of Nowhere Illinois but it is also the home of the University of Illinois/ Champaign. Very liberal.
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Old March 14, 2020, 11:09 PM   #9
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I feel like when folks are staring down the apocalypse (however likely or not it may be) and the first thing you do is say......if it all goes to poop we are robbing you of your right if self defense ......... this will not play well when things come back to normal and the next elections commence.

This is a bit of a global wake up call. Be prepared to take care of you and your own for at least 2 weeks. Most folks never imagined this as a possibility and I promise you decisions like this will come home to roost.

Either that or it won’t matter because half of us will be dead and the other half will be killing each other over toilet paper which......if you are interest I will sell you for a buck a square.

I really believe the VAST majority of humans want to do the right thing and wouldn’t go all mad max. The problem is defending yourself from that tiny minority who will take advantage. Situations like this really bring home to a lot of normal folks that maybe having a .357 magnum or 9mm pistol or 12 gauge isn’t the worst thing in the world. In the end when all this passes just maybe this will give us a small bit of good from a terrible situation
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Last edited by cslinger; March 14, 2020 at 11:15 PM.
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Old March 15, 2020, 04:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Might be in the middle of Nowhere Illinois but it is also the home of the University of Illinois/ Champaign. Very liberal.
That says a lot right there.
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Old March 15, 2020, 06:37 AM   #11
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Read the ACTUAL text of the ENTIRE Declaration:
https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.town...454b21.pdf.pdf

... THEN proceed with this discussion w/ some knowledge of actual content (vice whisper grapevine)
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Old March 15, 2020, 11:59 AM   #12
Hal
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Read all that before I posted.
I was also careful not to follow the hype that's saying it's already gone down.

Did YOU read the last part of my initial post?

The mayor admits she has the power to do what it says - and she's had that power since 2006.
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Old March 15, 2020, 01:43 PM   #13
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Be sure to understand the difference between what the law allows for, and what the Govt (in this case the mayor) actually DOES.

Look about anywhere and you will find in law, the authority for the government to do about anything deemed "necessary" during a DECLARED emergency.

The phrase usually used is "martial law" but it need not be declared or used to the full extent.

the lawful authority to suspend sale or trade in various commodities is STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE, and has been much longer than any of us has been alive. Generally alcohol, firearms/ammo, and gasoline are at the top of the list. But its not limited to just that.
Literally with the declaration of emergency, the govt assumes the legal authority to regulate EVERYTHING, including what businesses may operate, where and when, even down to where people may go, and even what happens inside your home, not just in public.

What matters is what the people acting as the govt. DO with this authority.

During Katrina and its aftermath "agents of the govt" seized lawfully possessed firearms from citizens. for which, afterwards, they got legally spanked, and many laws were passed prohibiting them from doing that, again. There is a Federal statute covering this now, prohibiting FEDERAL agents or employees from taking otherwise lawfully owned arms,

Many states and localities passed their own versions, but some places did not.

Those places could, still, under the declared emergency powers take guns from people or send Asian-Americans to special "camps" IF the people in charge so choose.

That will create a legal situation they will have to deal with, AFTER the emergency is over, but that's for "later"....

IT appears. at this time, that the Mayor has done the legal foundation by declaring, under oath and notarized, that the state of emergency exists.

and apparently, at this time, has taken no further action.

Always remember the difference between what the law authorizes and what is morally right. The govt (or more properly some people in it) sometimes FORGET.
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Old March 16, 2020, 12:20 PM   #14
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Great thread.
At the end of the day, the best thing about hometown mayors is their accessibility.
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Old March 17, 2020, 11:12 AM   #15
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While I agree that being able to ban gun sales is wrong, the mayor has said that she has no intention of doing so. Some reports blurred the distinction between potentially being able to do so and actually having done so.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/coron...v6q-story.html
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Old March 17, 2020, 02:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natman
While I agree that being able to ban gun sales is wrong, the mayor has said that she has no intention of doing so.
I don't think the mayor's intent is the issue presented. It's the claim of the power to act that is itself a problem.

In Ohio, the governor has postponed a primary election.

I am part of a list for the Ohio State Bar Assoc. litigation section. Someone asked where the state government gets the authority to close restaurants, bars and gatherings exceeding arbitrary numerical limits. Someone cited ORC 3701.13 which gives the Dept. of Health authority to make "special or standing orders or rules...for preventing the spread of contagious or infectious diseases...". Of course, it doesn't logically follow that those orders can be made without regard to constitutional protections.

State governments have very broad police powers. That's a problem when office holders succumb to panic.
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Old March 17, 2020, 07:56 PM   #17
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For those who won't, or can't be bothered to study the past because they don't think it's "relevant", I suggest looking at the (fictional) future (or a long long ago in a galaxy far far away....)

Do remember that Star Wars "senator" became president of the senate only accepted those powers "for the duration of the emergency". Then disbanded the senate and became Emperor.. This is the Dark Side we must guard against.

Also remember that in our system today, "declaring a state of emergency" is done to allow the Govt to access paths and methods not available to them during "regular" times. One example is a free-ing up of the purchase process, something that could be of vital importance, even if NO other steps are taken.

There are situations where the govt simply needs to be able to buy things, NOW, and waiting to go through a (possibly) multi-month bidding process can cause actual harm.

it IS a Pandora's box, but IF the people in charge have both the foresight AND the will, all the demons in the box need not be set free to plague the people.

Time will show us how well they do...
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Old March 19, 2020, 10:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
The law was enacted in 2006, so maybe someone from the area can remember if there was some sort of disaster or emergency in 2004 or 2005 that needed some sort of disaster response that the then-current laws didn't allow.
December 2004, 20 inches of snow that shut the area down for 3 days. But I'm not sure that would be that drastic?
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