The mayor of Champaign, Illinois has signed a declaration of a local emergency that she claims gives her the power to ban the sale of firearms and ammunition, as well as seize private property and ban the sale of food, water, fuel, and clothing.
- Impose a curfew
- Bar residents from public buildings
- Close all liquor stores
- “Require closing of business establishments”
- Prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition
- “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”
- Ration or shut off public utilities, such as water and power
Special Statement Clarifying City Code Provisions approved 3/13/20 pic.twitter.com/yuzYlDjikX
— City of Champaign (@champaigncity) March 13, 2020
The situation is from what I read in TownHall, goes FAR beyond “emergency measures”, beyond martial law, beyond unconstitutional, and a clear violation of constitutional law. It makes one wonder how they can use a global pandemic and federal emergency to impose the following:
After the declaration of an emergency, the Mayor may in the interest of public safety and welfare make any or all of the following orders and provide the following direction:
(1) Issue such other orders as are imminently necessary for the protection of life and property.
(2) Order a general curfew applicable to such geographical areas of the City or to the City as a whole, as the Mayor deems advisable, and applicable during such hours of the day or night as the Mayor deems necessary in the interest of public safety and welfare.
(3) Order the closing of all retail liquor stores, including taverns and private clubs or portions thereof wherein the consumption of intoxicating liquor and beer is permitted;
(4) Order the discontinuance of the sale of alcoholic liquor by any wholesaler or retailer;
(5) Order the discontinuance of selling, distributing, or giving away gasoline or other liquid flammable or combustible products in any container other than a gasoline tank properly affixed to a motor vehicle;
(6) Order the discontinuance of selling, distributing, dispensing or giving away of explosives or explosive agents, firearms or ammunition of any character whatsoever;
(7) Order the control, restriction and regulation within the City by rationing, issuing quotas, fixing or freezing prices, allocating the use, sale or distribution of food, fuel, clothing and other commodities, materials, goods or services or the necessities of life;
(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.
(9) Order restrictions on ingress or egress to parts of the City to limit the occupancy of any premises;
(10) To make provision for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing;
(11) Temporarily suspend, limit, cancel, convene, reschedule, postpone, continue, or relocate all meetings of the City Council, and any City committee, commission, board, authority, or other City body as deemed appropriate by the Mayor.
(12) Require closing of business establishments.
(13) Prohibit the sale or distribution within the City of any products which could be employed in a manner which would constitute a danger to public safety.
(14) Temporarily close any and all streets, alleys, sidewalks, bike paths, public parks or public ways.
(15) Temporarily suspend or modify, for not more than sixty (60) days, any regulation or ordinance of the City, including, but not limited to, those regarding health, safety, and zoning. This period may be extended upon approval of the City Council.
(16) Suspend or limit the use of the water resources or other infrastructure.
(17) Control, restrict, allocate, or regulate the use, sale, production, or distribution of food, water, fuel, clothing, and/or other commodities, materials, goods, services and resources.
(18) Suspend or limit burning of any items or property with the City limits and up to two (2) miles outside the corporate limits.
(19) Direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened areas within the City if the mayor deems this action is necessary for the preservation of life, property, or other disaster or emergency mitigation, response or recovery and to prescribe routes, modes of transportation and destination in connection with an evacuation.
(21) Approve application for local, state, or federal assistance.
(22) Establish and control routes of transportation, ingress or egress.
(23) Control ingress and egress from any designated disaster or emergency area or home, building or structures located therein.
(24) Approve the transfer the direction, personnel, or functions of City departments and agencies for the purpose of performing or facilitating emergency or disaster services.
(25) Accept services, gifts, grants, loans, equipment, supplies, and/or materials whether from private, nonprofit, or governmental sources.
(26) Require the continuation, termination, disconnection, or suspension of natural gas, electrical power, water, sewer, communication or other public utilities or infrastructure.
(27) Close or cancel the use of any municipally owned or operated building or other public facilities.
(28) Declare, issue, enforce, modify and terminate orders for quarantine and isolation of persons or animals posing a threat to the public, not conflicting with the directions of the Health Officer of the community.
(29) Exercise such powers and functions in light of the exigencies of emergency or disaster including the waiving of compliance with any time-consuming procedures and formalities, including notices, as may be prescribed by law.
(30) Issue any and all such other orders or undertake such other functions and activities as the Mayor reasonably believes is required to protect the health, safety, and welfare of persons or property within the City or otherwise preserve the public peace or abate, clean up, or mitigate the effects of any emergency or disaster.
Should anyone be surprised that this is in Illinois? The situation in the United States with the pandemic should bring people to help one another and our nation, not provide a pathway to martial law and destruction of our rights.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.
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