Ill. Legislature Passes Concealed Carry Law
By Chris Slaby, with additional reporting from The Associated Press
The Illinois Legislature has approved a gun measure that would end the last statewide ban in the nation on the concealed possession of a firearm in public.
The 89-28 vote Friday in the Illinois House sealed a compromise that was a response to December's federal appeals court order that Illinois drop its ban by June 9.
The legislation now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has said he'll 'review' the measure.
Senator Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) said there are risks if a federally-mandated June 9th deadline is not met – most notably, the possibility of concealed carry being allowed anywhere in Illinois.
“There ought to be 59 green lights for this," he said.
But Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), who participated in negotiations between the House and Senate, instead urged his fellow senators to “vote their conscience.”
“No, I am not happy with the end result," he said. "But my journey and my assignment was not to achieve my own personal happiness. My assignment was to negotiate a bill."
The compromise requires all local governments to allow concealed carry, but existing firearms ordinances can stay in place - like Cook County's assault weapons ban. Gun rights advocates unsuccessfully pushed for the elimination of such ordinances, including Chicago's assault weapon ban.
The measure would prohibit concealed carry in such places as schools, taverns and parks, but allows a gun to be kept securely in a car.
All lawmakers from East Central Illinois approved the measure.
Republican Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet says the fact that this new measure is backed by the Illinois State Rifle Association underscores this is a ‘definite step forward.’