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In Illinois, Concealed Carry Debate Bills Introduced

by Carl Wicklander, published
(Credit: Kwame Raoul Twitter page)

(Credit: Kwame Raoul Twitter page)

With a deadline approaching in the Illinois concealed carry debate, legislation was introduced in the State Senate late last week. However, each side in the gun debate continues to show signs of intransigence.

Sponsored by Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Chicago Democrat, a vote was expected on Friday, but was delayed. A vote could come on Monday.

Raoul's legislation would give Chicago police the authority to award permits with the Illinois State Police making the judgments everywhere else. It is an attempt to harmonize the disparate gun factions within the state.

Sen. Dan Kotowski, another Chicago Democrat, also introduced legislation to ban the sale of magazines able to fire more than ten rounds. Governor Pat Quinn has long sought an assault weapons ban, but so far the ban on high-capacity magazines is the only such ban to emerge.

Rep. Brandon Phelps, the Democrat who introduced a previously-defeated "shall issue" bill, says Raoul's bill will never pass the House.

On Monday, the Senate is also expected to hear testimony from parents of victims from the Newtown, Connecticut shooting late last year. Senate President John Cullerton said:

"I want these three parents come down to Springfield, Illinois, and I want them to make some of the senators very uncomfortable and that's what's going to make a difference."

Meanwhile, Springfield Alderman Tim Griffin is encouraging home-rule legislation in communities of 25,000 or more. In Griffin's proposal, out-of-state permits would be recognized in Springfield. Also, any business can opt out of allowing concealed weapons by registering online and displaying a sign outside the business specifying it.

The biggest objection to home-rule proposals is that they do not provide uniform regulations, thus creating a question about what happens when a concealed carry user crosses into another jurisdiction. Home-rule legislation would be regulations in addition to any that get passed in Springfield. They can also, theoretically, be more restrictive.

Phelps, who said his previously-defeated "shall issue" law would have been the country's most restrictive, opposes this avenue:

"There should be one, uniform law statewide . . . because if you allow municipalities and counties to do their own ordinances, from town to town to town, that law-abiding gun owner is not going to know between one town and another."

Last December, a U.S. Federal Appeals Court ruled the concealed carry ban in Illinois was unconstitutional and gave the state six months to pass legislation regulating it.

The legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on May 31. If no legislation enacting regulations on Illinois concealed carry is reached by June 9, uninhibited concealed carry becomes reality in the state.


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