State: Illinois lawmakers crafting concealed carry bill

By Donny Kendal

After a federal appeals court ruled against a statewide ban on concealed carry, Illinois lawmakers are scrambling to craft a comprehensive bill before the June 9th deadline.

Illinois is the only state where people have no right to carry concealed firearms. This was deemed to be unconstitutional by a federal appeals court late last year. Lawmakers have until June 9th to create new laws that allow some sort of concealed carry before existing laws expire. According to an Illinois Times’ article, a Democratic caucus was told people would be able to carry weapons into the statehouse with no repercussions if laws were allowed to expire.

Currently, representatives are constructing a bipartisan bill. A NRA-backed bill was rejected earlier this month.  In the Journal-Register, a lobbyist from the NRA said, “I guess there are enough people that think they’re not going to vote for anything and the best thing to do is go over the cliff.” This is in regards to the fact that if no plan is made at a state level, the responsibility would go to the local governments.

However, there is still time to make a bill. The Chicago Tribune reports that a two-tier system is being considered to please representatives of both urban and more rural areas. Under this plan, high-population areas would be subjected to extra safe-guards. For example, if a concealed carry applicant intended to carry in Chicago, he or she would be subjected to an extra review by the state police.

While details of any plan are far from established, lawmakers will surely put new bills up to vote in the coming weeks.