Illinois concealed-carry law fails to pass – Blessing in disguise?
Another attempt to pass the concealed-carry law in Illinois failed last week even though it captured the overwhelming majority of the vote 64-45, but needed a supermajority of 71 votes.
A supermajority vote was required because the bill would override the home-rule authority of some municipalities to establish their own concealed-carry rules, and the bill sets a state-wide standard.
The U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit stuck down Illinois’ last-state-in-the-nation ban on concealed-carry and ordered the state to pass some form of concealed-carry law by June 2013.
If the state’s legislature doesn’t pass a concealed-carry law by the deadline, there might be no restrictions as to where a person can carry a loaded weapon in public or little additional restrictions other than those required to obtain a gun in the first place.
Advocates of concealed-carry point to the Supreme Court decision that ruled the Second Amendment gives citizens not only the right to own firearms, but the right to “bear” those firearms outside the home.
If the bill as written had passed last week, it would have been one of the most strict concealed-carry laws in the country, based on the whims of Chicago lawmakers who believe that no additional guns are needed in the state or necessary to defend one’s life.
The state tried to pass “may issue” concealed-carry that leaves the final decision to local law enforcement, patterned after the New York bill that severely limits who may carry a weapon in public.
The bill had higher permit fees than those originally imposed, more training required and restrictions where weapons could be carried. It was probably the strictest “shall carry” bill in the country, according to its sponsor Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg.
Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Edwardsville is also worried that if something isn’t passed by the General Assembly, the court would “allow things we don’t want to happen in this state if we do nothing.”
So, the pressure is on state legislators to do something before the court deadline. However, to get 71 Illinois legislators to agree on anything may be a near impossibility and the citizens of the state might get a better deal from the court, without Chicago making the decisions for the rest of us based on their 500 plus murders last year!