Opinion

Concealed carry bill passes Ill. House, Gov. Quinn vows to squash

The last state without some sort of concealed carry law came one step closer to changing that status. The Illinois House passed a landmark proposal on Friday that will allow residents to carry firearms outside their homes.

But the measure faces stiff opposition from the Senate, and Gov. Pat Quinn is opposed to it. A state law must be in place by June 9 due to a Supreme Court imposed deadline.

“This legislation is wrong for Illinois,” Quinn said in a statement issued minutes after the House vote. “I will not support this bill and I will work with members of the Illinois Senate to stop it in its tracks.”

State Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, sponsored the legislation and said it was a bill they can be proud of. The bill’s main points include, according to The Southern:

Under the plan, applicants for concealed carry permits would have to be at least 21-years-old, pass criminal and mental health background checks, undergo 16 hours of training sanctioned by the Illinois State Police and pay a $150 fee in order to receive a five year permit.

Guns would be banned from childcare facilities, governmental buildings, public events such as street fairs, sports arenas and stadiums, amusement parks and a host of other public areas.

The main sticking point for opponents is a provision that wipes out all local gun laws, including an assault weapons ban in Chicago. Supporters say the state should have one uniform gun law to ensure firearm owners don’t get caught in a web of differing local weapons laws.

State Rep. Eddie Acevedo said the law doesn’t work in Chicago, and that “having more guns on the streets is not the answer.”

Many lawmakers who supported the plan feared that if they miss the court deadline for the state law, they will have a confusing variety of local gun laws.

State Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, has been handling negotiations on the bill and said the House version needs more work, but thinks they can come up with an alternative.

Watch the report here via WGN News.

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