Illinois has joined the rest of the country’s 50 states by removing its ban on the concealed carry of firearms. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed the bill but was overridden by a three-fifths vote from the state legislature. The Wall Street Journal has it here:
“It’s a historic day for gun owners, and for the state of Illinois,” said Rep. Brandon Phelps, a Democrat from Harrisburg and a sponsor of the bill. “I never thought we’d pass concealed carry here, but here we are and I couldn’t be happier.”
The measure effectively says that Illinois authorities “shall issue” a permit to carry concealed weapons to anyone who passes a criminal-background check and completes 16 hours of firearm training.
The law, which gives law enforcement up to 180 days to put in place a workable permitting process, brings Illinois in line with the majority of states that issue permits to anyone who satisfies a handful of basic requirements. Several others, such as California and New York, have more restrictive “may issue” permitting regimes, in which state authorities have broader discretion in granting permits.
“It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” said Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association, which took a leading role in lobbying for the bill’s passage. But Mr. Arulanandam said he was still troubled by the costs Illinois residents will have to bear to get a permit, which include a $150 fee and outlays for training and fingerprinting.
The move to allow concealed carry in Illinois was prompted by a ruling late last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, which ruled that Illinois’s law, the most restrictive in the country, violated the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The court ultimately gave the state until July 9 to rewrite its law.