Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Concealed-carry in Illinois, at last

Steve Chapman

1:39 p.m. CST, December 11, 2012

Illinois is the only state in the country that does not make some provision for ordinary citizens to carry concealed firearms. But not for long. Today, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals said the state ban is unconstitutional because it violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

It's a surprising decision, and it may not survive Supreme Court scrutiny. But it has forced state legislators, who have 180 days to draft a new conceal-carry law, to take the idea seriously -- something they have stubbornly refused to do.

There is a strong anti-gun culture in Illinois, particularly in Chicago -- whose total ban on handgun ownership was struck down by the Supreme Court in a landmark Second Amendment case. Our lawmakers have refused to confront the evidence from other states that allowing law-abiding citizens to get licenses to carry handguns does not lead to more murders or more crime. What the laws do is give people who feel the need for such protection to have it.

more here

1 comment:

Dean Weingarten said...

I believe Steve Chapman is mistaken about the legislature refusing to pass legislation for concealed carry.

I think they did so, but did not reach the supermajority needed to overrule Chicago politicians in Illinois.

“Seems like every year somebody introduces it. More than one bill — there are usually eight, nine, 10,” says Rep. Brandon Phelps, a Harrisburg Democrat who sponsored House Bill 148. His bill would allow for concealed carry throughout the state but contains a list of places where it would not be allowed, such as bars and schools. HB 148 was just six votes short of the three-fifths majority it needed to pass when it came up for a vote last spring. Phelps says he thinks his bill is still a few votes shy of passing. “We’re the closest we’ve ever been in Illinois history, but yet we still don’t have it.”

HB 148 must have more than the usual 60-vote simple majority to pre-empt the power of home rule municipalities. More than 200 cities and counties hold home rule powers. Because of this requirement, some lawmakers are backing a different concealed carry plan that they hope to pass with a simple majority.