Legislators send concealed carry to governor
Closing in on a June 9 deadline, the Illinois House and Senate on Friday sent the governor a compromise concealed carry firearms measure endorsed both by gun-control supporters and gun rights advocates.
The bill (HB 183) passed the Senate 45-12 and the House 89-28. All area legislators voted for the bill. Most of the opposition came from Chicago and suburban Democrats.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Pat Quinn said he "will review the bill once it reaches his desk."
Both chambers are scheduled to adjourn tonight by midnight.
"We all had to give and we all had to take a little bit," said Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville. "There was give and take all through this process. This bill really reflects the diversity of this state."
Several senators noted that the state is under a federal court order to pass a concealed carry bill within two weeks or face the possibility that there would be universal carry in Illinois.
"There's great risk if we don't do this today," said Sen. Tim Bivins, R-Dixon.
"I am not happy with the end result," said Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, "but my assignment was not to find my own personal happiness."
Opponents, however, said the legislation doesn't do enough to address mental health issues or require reporting of lost or stolen guns.
Under the bill Illinois would become a "shall-issue" state, meaning that applicants for a concealed carry permit would get it although law enforcement authorities could attempt to block the permit. In that case, according to the bill, a seven-member appeals board would review the case.
Permits would cost $150 and would be good for five years. Applicants would have to receive 16 hours of training, the highest requirement in the country, said proponents of the bill.
Numerous places would be off-limits to firearms, including schools, day care centers, government buildings, casinos, mass transit and arenas. Businesses could ban guns by posting a sign at their entrance.
Home rule communities in IIlinois, including Chicago, would continue to be able to enforce their own, stricter gun regulations.
Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, called the measure "one of the most favorable versions of concealed carry to date," and noted that it was endorsed by the Illinois State Rifle Association.
"This legislation not only allows for carry for the first time in modern Illinois history, but it also prevents local communities from trampling on the State Constitution with excessive local regulations," Rose said in a statement.