A federal judge’s deadline fast approaches and few would be surprised to find Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and the Illinois General Assembly standing with an empty holster on June 9 when they are required to pass a concealed-carry law.
It’s also not surprising that many Democrats, particularly those from powerful Cook County, are being forced to approve a law they have no interest in passing. But since they control both houses and the governor’s office, they’ll have to find a way.
Add a lack of concealed-carry laws to the many areas where Illinois comes in last place. We live in the only state that does not have some kind of concealed-carry law, although states have a wide range of latitude on how they deal with concealed carry.
Some of the proposals being discussed carve out Chicago and Cook County, arguing that Chicago has unique urban issues from the rest of the state. While true, other cities not in Cook County, including Aurora and Rockford, also have urban issues.
Thinking that Chicago is special when it comes to the Second Amendment is what led to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Chicago’s ban on handguns. It was a Chicago resident who argued that he had the right to protect himself and won his case before the Supreme Court.
Another issue is whether Illinois should be a “shall issue” or a “may issue” concealed-carry state. The difference is that law enforcement would have the option of declining to issue concealed-carry permits even if the applicant met criteria set under the law.
New York, which has one of the more restrictive concealed-carry laws, is a “shall issue” state and that policy was recently upheld by the courts. While it might be legal for the moment, we have concerns in a state known for corruption for granting authorities that kind of latitude.
There are 49 states that have figured this out. The Illinois General Assembly does not have to reinvent the wheel. It simply needs to look at a state in the middle and adopt a reasonable law that requires training and restricts places where guns may be carried that is equitable for all citizens in all counties.