Yesterday, House Bill 183 with Senate Amendments 5, 6, and 7 passed in the Illinois Senate by a 45 to 12 vote, and was concurred on in the House by a 89-28 vote. This legislation was introduced in an attempt to comply with a ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on December 11, 2012 that invalidated Illinois’ total ban on carrying firearms for self-defense. This statewide concealed carry legislation has been sent to Governor Pat Quinn (D) for his signature.
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. This bill, if enacted, will be far from perfect, but it would provide a form of concealed carry in Illinois which is the lone remaining state in the nation to prohibit legal carrying of firearms for self-defense. The provisions in House Bill 183 would be effective immediately upon the Governor’s signature, although the department of state police would have an additional 180 days to implement the actual licensing process.
This bill contains comprehensive preemption of handgun-related local ordinances for anyone with a FOID card and reserves regulation of all laws relating to the concealed carrying of handguns to the state. It also provides protections to those traveling with firearms by providing comprehensive preemption of local ordinances as applied to individuals with a FOID who are transporting firearms in compliance with all state regulations. Firearms preemption is an important component of this bill, as it prevents lawful concealed carry licensees and firearm owners from being caught in a web of confusing local ordinances and laws as they go about their daily routines.
Serious concerns remain about the implementation, cost and issuance of the concealed carry licenses should Governor Quinn sign it into law. Your NRA-ILA will continue to update you on developments related to concealed carry in Illinois and fight to ensure that licenses are issued in a timely manner to those law-abiding Illinoisans interested in their inherent right to self-defense.