The General Assembly has rejected the Governor’s changes to legislation affirming a citizen’s right to carry a concealed firearm, bringing Illinois in line with the rest of the nation in allowing some form of concealed-carry, according to Senator Jim Oberweis.
Illinois is under a July 9 federal court deadline to adopt a concealed-carry plan. Lawmakers passed House Bill 183 on May 31 after months of negotiations, but the legislation was amendatorily vetoed by Governor Pat Quinn.
The House of Representatives and Senate both voted July 9 to override the Governor’s amendatory veto to House Bill 183, which has an immediate effective date. Senator Oberweis said the process will take several months to implement. The Illinois State Police must write rules and regulations for the new law, before citizens can begin taking training and applying for concealed-carry permits.
“Like the citizens they represent, state lawmakers have wide-ranging opinions about concealed-carry. Nevertheless, we all recognized the need for a compromise, and months of hard work by Senators Forby, Raoul and Bivins, and Representative Phelps resulted in House Bill 183, which I was proud to cosponsor,” Senator Oberweis said. “It was aggravating when the Governor injected himself into the process AFTER the legislation was passed, but I am pleased that lawmakers saw fit to override the Governor’s veto and get a plan in place.”
House Bill 183 calls for training and background checks for those who wish to carry a concealed firearm. It preempts all local ordinances affecting concealed firearms and ammunition, including registration, licensing, possession and transportation, for those with a concealed-carry license.
An applicant does not have to show a need in order to carry, but does have to undergo 16 hours of training. Veterans will receive eight hours’ of training credit, as will those applicants who have taken hunter safety courses. Applicants must pay a $150 application fee. The license will be good for five years.
House Bill 183 specifies places a firearm cannot be carried, including any schools or childcare facilities, bars, hospitals, government buildings, airports and sporting events. The bill prohibits carrying firearm under the influence of drugs or alcohol and outlines strict penalties for those who are found to be under the influence. It also outlines strong mental health standards and reporting procedures.
The Senate also passed a trailer bill July 9 that outlines further guidelines for carrying a concealed firearm. House Bill 1453 incorporates two of the Governor’s suggested changes and adds language about signage:
• Requires “immediate” disclosure by the licensee that he or she is carrying a concealed handgun upon the request of a law enforcement officer. The original bill requires disclosure but does not include the word “immediate.”
• Modifies the reporting requirements when a person is determined to pose a clear and present danger to themselves or others. Provides that law enforcement and school administrators only have to notify the Department of State Police, rather than the Department of Human Services in such instances.
• Places listed as per-se prohibited places (schools, hospitals, public buildings, etc.) are not required to post signs prohibiting concealed-carry except for bars.
House Bill 1453 was also passed by the Senate on July 9, but failed to get enough votes to pass the House of Representatives.