Illinois was the only state in the U.S. to have an outright prohibition on concealed carry. Residents could own guns but only keep them in their house. They weren’t even allowed to carry an unloaded gun in public.
A couple years ago, a Democrat state Representative Brandon Phelps sponsored a bill that would have allowed concealed carry, albeit with many limitations. The Governor and Rahm Emanuel both lobbied against the bill, and it eventually failed 65 – 32.
However, their prohibition against concealed weapons in public is a thing of the past, because a U.S. Appeals Court struck down Illinois’ ban as unconstitutional last year. The court instructed Illinois to enact legislation in the next 180 days that allows concealed carry. Their initial deadline was June 9th, but then they got a one-month extension. And at the last minute on Tuesday, Illinois legislators enacted their own concealed carry law:
“The law as approved by the Legislature permits anyone with a Firearm Owner’s Identification card who has passed a background check and undergone gun-safety training of 16 hours — longest of any state — to obtain a concealed-carry permit for $150. The Illinois State Police would have six months to set up a system to start accepting applications. Spokeswoman Monique Bond said police expect 300,000 applications in the first year.”
It’s not at all surprising that they have so many restrictions and regulations surrounding Illinoisans’ right to protect themselves and their families with firearms. It is however much better than what they had before.
It’ll be interesting to see what effect this will have on Chicago violence. Over the Independence Day weekend, 74 people were shot and 12 were killed there. The violence is so bad in Chicago that some Illinois reps are calling for the National Guard and state police to step in to try to stem it. Just what they would need. Military and police patrolling their streets. A lot of that could be prevented by having a well-armed populace.