Illinois Legislature Passes Concealed Carry Bill

By:  James Heiser
Illinois Legislature Passes Concealed Carry Bill

The Illinois legislature has passed a bill allowing for concealed carry of a firearm; but will the bill sufficiently uphold the U.S. Constitution to meet the approval of the Court of Appeals?

If Governor Pat Quinn signs the bill passed last week in the state legislature, Illinois will no longer be the only state in the American Republic without a legal provision for state residents to carry concealed firearms. On Friday, the legislature rushed through a bill allowing for limited concealed carry, as Democrats neared the deadline that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals had given them to bring the state into compliance with the provisions of the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. However, what remains to be seen is whether the new law will be recognized by the court as fulfilling the stipulations of its ruling late last year.

As reported for The New American last December (“Concealed Carry Coming to Illinois”), the Seventh Court gave the legislature 180 days to reform the state’s gun laws; otherwise, the court would strike down the statute. However, the ruling came out only days before the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. In the intervening six months, the legislature has weighed a variety of new gun control laws — even as state lawmakers knew that action would have to take place to comply with the ruling of the court. In February, Attorney General Lisa Madigan attempted to get the full Seventh Court to reverse its early ruling, but a majority of the court upheld its previous determination on the basis of law, not a perception of public sentiment.

With a June 9 deadline looming, the final bill was raced through the legislature with very little opportunity for representatives to even review the legislation that they were expected to pass. As the National Rifle Association noted in a January 1 press release: “Given that some anti-gun Senators were attempting to skirt the court-ordered mandate and prevent a strong Right to Carry law, final language from this 168-page bill was only released early Friday morning, and was rushed through the legislature without committee consideration — leaving little time for a thorough review before the vote occurred yesterday afternoon.”

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