Illinois passes concealed gun law

Illinois passes concealed gun law, which means all 50 states now allow conceal-carry.
Gun and Holster
Gun and Holster
Photo Credit: Naval History and Heritage Command

(Springfield, Il.)–Illinois was the only state that did not permit concealed guns…until now.

The state of Illinois passed the Firearm Concealed Carry Act on Monday after both assemblies overrode Governor Pat Quinn’s veto. State senators voted 41-17, and the House 77-31 in favor of the override of Quinn’s veto. According to The State Journal-Register, both margins met the three-fifths threshold required by state law.

Chicago Tribune reported that although the measure is now state law, state residents still have to wait a few months. According to the Illinois General Assembly’s website, the Firearm Concealed Carry Act will “create a task force to develop a plan by March 1, 2014.” This act will affect non-state residents as well. The State-Journal reported applications will be made available in six months.

Illinois passing this law means that all 50 states now allow residents to carry concealed-guns. It turns out the federal government pressured Illinois into passing this legislation. According to the Chicago Tribune, Illinois faced a court-mandated deadline of Monday, Jul. 9, to pass a concealed-gun law, after the state’s prohibition was ruled unconstitutional by a federal appellate court. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made that ruling in December.

Then, what was Gov. Quinn trying to veto? Quinn wanted to place a one-gun restriction, an ammunition limit of “one magazine of 10 rounds or less”, and to forbid guns from all places that serve alcohol. The state assemblies overrode his veto. However, guns will not be allowed in places where alcohol accounts for 50% or more of sales, and guns will not be allowed at schools, libraries, parks, and mass transit buses and trains, USA Today reported.

The requirements for obtaining a Firearm Owner’s Identification card will be very strict. Applicants must complete gun-safety training of 16 hours, and pass background checks to be eligible to purchase their license. The license will cost $150, and will last five years. When it is time renew the license, cardholders must take a three-hour course.

Tensions were high, after it was announced the bill had passed. Quinn was furious with the outcome. According to The State Journal-Register, Quinn attempted to change nine parts of the law with his veto, and he vowed he will continue to push lawmakers to get those changes made. Quinn said, “Today is a bad day for public safety in Illinois. More than ever, I’m committed to getting follow-up legislation passed.”

On the other side, state Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, told the Chicago Tribune that Quinn used his veto as a move to get votes from gun-control supporters for his next election.  State Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline told the Chicago Tribune that Quinn “needs to learn to count,” and added, “Anyone who doesn’t understand that we’re going to run this bill over his objections doesn’t understand government.”

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