Story Summary

Illinois Concealed Carry

On January 1, 2014,  it will be legal to carry guns in public in Illinois.

The state’s concealed carry law was passed earlier in 2013 to comply with a court ruling that declared the state’s ban on concealed weapons unconstitutional.

Illinois’ new law requires gun owners to apply for a license and state police must approve the application.

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Chicago Tribune Political Reporter with background and details on Illinois’ concealed carry

Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield tomorrow and Governor Quinn says he’s ready for a showdown over concealed carry

The new law would make it legal to carry concealed firearms in Illinois.  But last week, Gov Quinn rewrote it, banning guns at all establishments that serve alcohol and limiting the number a person can carry to one.

Tomorrow is the deadline imposed by a federal appeals court for action on the issue. Illinois is now the only state that bans public possession of guns. The court ruled the ban unconstitutional. The bill’s sponsors now accuse the governor of taking their carefully-crafted bill and gutting it.

On the road in recent days, Gov Quinn’s been working to drum-up support for his changes. But given that it took months of intense debate to get this compromise, which lawmakers in both chambers have already approved with more than a 3/5th majority, changing course now looks unlikely.

When lawmakers reconvene tomorrow, the sponsors of the concealed carry bill will try to override the governor’s changes and unless something else changes, they have the votes to do exactly that.

As expected, Gov. Pat Quinn is making some changes to Illinois’ conceal carry legislation.

The governor said he’s using his amendatory veto powers to rewrite the weapons proposal passed by the General Assembly.

“I have carefully reviewed every part of this legislation. This is a flawed bill with serious safety problems that must be addressed,” Quinn wrote in his veto message. “Therefore, I am compelled to use my constitutional authority to rectify several specific issues, to establish a better law to protect the people of Illinois.”

The governor wants municipalities to be allowed to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

He also wants to limit the number of rounds that could be carried in a gun.

None of those provisions was written into the bill.

Quinn also wants to limit the number of firearms a person can carry to one, and require that a weapon be completely concealed in public instead of just partially hidden.

Quinn’s changes may not hold because the original bill passed with veto-proof majorities.

The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.

Governor Pat Quinn is expected to amend a concealed-carry weapons bill today to add some new restrictions on what weapons people will be allowed to carry.

A federal court ordered Illinois to drop its last-in-the-nation ban on the right to carry concealed guns.

Quinn would like to ban assault-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips; but the concealed-carry bill on his desk includes neither provision.

He might try to add one or both of them, as well as limiting a person to carrying one gun at a time.

State lawmakers are likely to override any changes Quinn makes; they say the bill they sent to the governor struck a delicate compropmise among many competing interests, and any change would shatter that compromise.

Many municipalities across Illinois are rushing to pass legislation to outlaw or regulate assault weapons, before they lose their authority to act.

A court ruled Governor Quinn has until July 9 to sign concealed carry into law.

Legislation sent to his desk during the Spring session would preempt municipal home rule authority when it comes to local gun laws.

That is, unless local laws are already on the books or created within 10 days of the governor’s signature.

An appellate court is giving Illinois an extra 30 days to lift its ban on concealed weapons.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan requested the court give Governor Quinn more time to review legislation passed in Springfield last week.

He was facing a Sunday deadline, but now has until July 9th to take action.

Illinois is the last state with a ban on the concealed carrying of guns.

The ban was ruled unconstitutional in December.

The court warned it would not issue another extension.

By Ray Long and Monique Garcia

Clout Street

State lawmakers today approved compromise legislation to set up rules on who can carry concealed guns and where they can be carried.

Illinois is the last state in the nation not to have some form of concealed carry on the books, but a federal appeals court overturned the state’s long standing ban in December and gave lawmakers until June 9 to come up with regulations to allow it.

“Don’t let your constituents go off the cliff, this is a historic day for law abiding gun owners in this state,” said sponsoring Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg.

Under the proposal, concealed weapons would be banned from numerous sites, such as CTA and Metra buses and trains, casinos, government buildings and stadiums. But lawmakers said the bill would allow people to carry concealed weapons in restaurants where alcohol is served but more than half of the sales are for food.

A five-year concealed weapons permit would be issued to applicants. Law enforcement could object, and an applicant could appeal to a seven-member board designed to have people with such credentials as former judges or FBI agents. A person would have to complete 16 hours of training before getting a gun.

A series of provisions were designed to prevent people with mental health problems from getting guns. “We don’t want to mentally ill people to have firearms, period,” said Phelps, the House’s main gun rights supporter and a major negotiator.

Attempts were made to allow gun owners to carry through different communities without getting hung up on a patchwork of local laws.

Chicago’s ban on assault weapons would be kept intact, but towns that don’t already have a ban would be prevented from adopting them.

The Senate quickly passed the bill 45-12-1. The House vote was 89-28.

The bill needed three-fifths votes in both chambers because it would affect home-rule cities like Chicago.

“We worked really hard on this bill to come up with something that we think everybody can live with, but probably everybody won’t be happy with,” said sponsoring Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton. “But it’s something we need to do.”

“We’re not there yet on this bill, not even close,” said Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, who said the 16-hours of training required in the bill was not enough.

Gov. Pat Quinn’s spokeswoman offered the administration’s standard response when asked about the bill, saying Quinn would review it when it reaches his desk.

Democrats and Republicans got up to speak in favor in the Senate.

“This bill is for the common good of all citizens, those who live in our dense cities, those who live in our rural areas, it’s time to put this issue to rest,” said Sen. William Haine, D-Alton.

“We all know but for the Constitution and the federal court, we might not be here today,” said Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington. “I think what’s most important is like 49 other states in the nation, the citizens of  Illinois will enjoy a right and will become comfortable with because we crafted a good law, at least as a start.”

State lawmakers have wrestled over how to bridge the state’s regional and philosophical divide between gun rights advocates and gun control proponents. In the latest version, both sides budget, and lawmakers indicated the city of Chicago and the National Rifle Association both registeried as neutral. But Chicago’s anti-gun lawmakers still contended the bill was not strong enough even as other lawmakers wanted fewer restrictions.

“We got a bill everybody can live with,” said Forby, the sponsor from Downstate Benton who has long fought for gun rights.

“Everybody agreed nobody liked” the bill, Forby said, “But it was something we had to do by July 9. … Nobody wanted to go over the cliff.”

Attempts were made to allow gun owners to carry through different communities without getting hung up on a patchwork of local laws.

But Forby got peppered by lawmakers who worried that the legislation opened up the potential to allowing a person with a firearm owners identification card to have as many as 100 guns in his car trunk without  violating laws.

Forby said he saw nothing illegal, prompting some lawmakers to shake their heads in disappointment.

Democratic Sen. Tony Munoz, a Chicago policeman, also questioned why the legislation would allow people to carry concealed weapons in places where more than half of the sales are for food.

Forby said a restaurant or bar owner also can put up a sign that says no guns are allowed, but Sen. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago, said the option is “ludicrous” because it would be hard to know who was complying with the sign unless there were a metal detector at the door.

Forby parried that somebody always will break the law “no matter what you do.”

Democratic Sen. Kim Lightford of Maywood contended the bill fails to give “enough protections in violent situations.”

The elements of the bill came together in a meeting Thursday with Speaker Michael Madigan, who had pushed through a separate proposal.

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

 

By Ray Long and Monique Garcia
Clout Street
The Illinois Senate today approved new version of legislation to give Illinoisans the right to carry concealed weapons as lawmakers try to get a bill to the governor’s desk before today’s midnight adjournment deadline.

Chicago’s ban on assault weapons would be kept intact, and concealed weapons would be banned from numerous sites, such as CTA and Metra buses and trains, casinos, government buildings and stadiums. The bill moved to the full Senate on an 8-6 vote of the Executive Committee and then quickly passed the full Senate 45-12-1.

The bill needed 36 votes to pass instead of 30 because it would affect home-rule cities like Chicago.

“We worked really hard on this bill to come up with something that we think everybody can live with, but probably everybody won’t be happy with,” said sponsoring Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton. “But it’s something we need to do.”

“We’re not there yet on this bill, not even close,” said Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, who said the 16-hours of training required in the bill was not enough.

Democrats and Republicans got up to speak in favor.

“This bill is for the common good of all citizens, those who live in our dense cities, those who live in our rural areas, it’s time to put this issue to rest,” said Sen. William Haine, D-Alton.

“We all know but for the Constitution and the federal court, we might not be here today,” said Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington. “I think what’s most important is like 49 other states in the nation, the citizens of  Illinois will enjoy a right and will become comfortable with because we crafted a good law, at least as a start.”

The action unfolded as the state faced a June 9 deadline put in place by a federal appeals court that struck down Illinois’ ban on carrying weapons in public.

State lawmakers have wrestled over how to bridge the state’s regional and philosophical divide between gun rights advocates and gun control proponents. In the latest version, both sides budget, and lawmakers indicated the city of Chicago and the National Rifle Association both registeried as neutral. But Chicago’s anti-gun lawmakers still contended the bill was not strong enough even as other lawmakers wanted fewer restrictions.

“We got a bill everybody can live with,” said Forby, the sponsor from Downstate Benton who has long fought for gun rights.

“Everybody agreed nobody liked” the bill, Forby said, “But it was something we had to do by July 9. … Nobody wanted to go over the cliff.”

Under the proposal, a five-year concealed weapons permit would be issued to applicants. Law enforcement could object, and an applicant could appeal to a seven-member board designed to have people with such credentials as former judges or FBI agents. A person would have to complete 16 hours of training before getting a gun.

A series of provisions were designed to prevent people with mental health problems from getting guns. “We don’t want to mentally ill people to have firearms, period,” said Rep. Brandon Phelps, the House’s main gun rights supporter and a major negotiator.

Attempts were made to allow gun owners to carry through different communities without getting hung up on a patchwork of local laws.

But Forby got peppered by lawmakers who worried that the legislation opened up the potential to allowing a person with a firearm owners identification card to have as many as 100 guns in his car trunk without  violating laws.

Forby said he saw nothing illegal, prompting some lawmakers to shake their heads in disappointment.

Democratic Sen. Tony Munoz, a Chicago policeman, also questioned why the legislation would allow people to carry concealed weapons in places where more than half of the sales are for food.

Forby said a restaurant or bar owner also can put up a sign that says no guns are allowed, but Sen. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago, said the option is “ludicrous” because it would be hard to know who was complying with the sign unless there were a metal detector at the door.

Forby parried that somebody always will break the law “no matter what you do.”

Democratic Sen. Kim Lightford of Maywood contended the bill fails to give “enough protections in violent situations.”

The elements of the bill came together in a meeting Thursday with Speaker Michael Madigan, who had pushed through a separate proposal.

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

Photo caption: Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, left, and Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, present a reworked version of their House-passed concealed carry bill before the Senate Executive Committee. (E. Jason Wambsgans, Chicago Tribune / May 31, 2013)

Lawmakers in Springfield have a busy two days ahead of them.  On the agenda: Concealed weapons, pension reform, gay marriage and the state budget.

A lot of what happened today happened behind closed doors in the office of House Speaker Mike Madigan in an effort to reach a compromise on concealed carry legislation.

Lawmakers want that done. They’re facing a court-imposed June 9th deadline. They’re close on that, and nearing a deal on expanding gambling.

House democrats went back and forth over the proposal that would put five new casinos in a state that’s in dire need of revenue, including one in Chicago. Proponents are still negotiating and working toward passage by adjournment Friday, but there’s some uncertainty about how the governor feels about the plan.

capitolGovernor Pat Quinn has vetoed two previous expanded gaming bills and this time insists that pension reform must come first. In short, he will not sign a gambling bill until lawmakers give him a pension bill he can put his signature on, one that does a lot to ease the state’s nearly $100 billion dollar funding shortfall.

Lawmakers in the house and senate scheduled to get back at it at 11 a.m. tomorrow

A gun bill showdown appears to be shaping up at the State capitol.

An Illinois Senate Committee rejected a measure Tuesday that already passed in the House of Representatives, and instead approved their own legislation.

Here’s the main difference: The House bill bans municipalities from drawing up their own concealed carry laws. It would also end Chicago’s ban on assault weapons.

CaptureThe Senate legislation would allow municipalities to approve their own firearm laws.

A federal appeals court is giving Illinois until June 9 to approve a measure that will allow people to carry guns that are hidden.

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