When a federal appeals court struck down Illinois state’s concealed carry ban last year, it gave lawmakers 180 days to draft a new, constitutional law. Those 180 days will have ended on June 9. Just days before, the state Senate joined the Illinois House of Representatives in passing a bill which could repeal one of the strictest gun control laws in the country and allow concealed carry in the home of Lincoln.
Illinois is the only state in the nation that does not allow some sort of concealed carry for personal defense. Shortly after the state Senate passed the bill in a 45-12 vote last week, it was sent to Governor Pat Quinn’s desk for his signature. Governor Quinn had previously opposed one version of the bill and did not indicate if he will sign the proposal. However, the large number of votes in favor of concealed carry legislation in the House and Senate will overrule a veto if that occurs. Attorney General Lisa Madigan then made a request for an extension of the June 6 deadline from the 7th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals, which was granted.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, the extension will give Governor Quinn 30 more days to review the bill but the court stated that it will not be issuing a second extension. Madigan said she made the request because the previous deadline would not have given Quinn enough time to review the legislation, as the governor is granted 60 days by the state constitution to consider bills from the legislature.
“This request for an additional 30 days would allow the Governor a reasonable amount of time to fulfill his state constitutional duties,” Madigan said in a press release. “Further, if granted, this additional time would help prevent a situation in which there is no state law in place governing the carrying of handguns in public, which the Court sought to avoid in setting the original stay.”
The concealed carry bill will change Illinois into a “shall-issue” state with the caveat of creating a seven-member permit review board that will be appointed by the governor. Applicants must complete at least 16 hours of firearms training and pass a background check before being issued a permit, which can be denied by state police.
The bill is the result of a bipartisan compromise that will finally bring concealed carry to the state of Illinois. Some lawmakers, especially from traditionally gun-strict Chicago, fear that concealed carry would only increase crime in the state. The Senate version of the concealed carry bill had been amended to reportedly include provisions to exclude home-rule cities like Chicago. Opponents to this move say that instead of creating a uniform concealed carry law, the state will now be divided into a confusing patchwork of restrictive areas across the state.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the revision allowed the Senate to reach a decision in time before the June 9 deadline. Also, both Governor Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel supported the revised Senate bill. It is, however, opposed by the National Rifle Association, which had supported the House version of concealed carry.
With the new extension, Quinn will have until July 9 to consider the bill.