Thursday, 16 May 2013 14:50
Measure balances statewide framework with local control, passes Senate committee
State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) presented his comprehensive concealed-carry plan to the Senate Executive Committee today, garnering its approval by a vote of 10-4. Raoul, tapped by Senate President John Cullerton to lead negotiations in the Senate, spent months working with gun rights advocates, gun control advocates and his colleagues across the aisle to craft a framework that balances statewide consistency and local control.
“My proposal respects our state’s diversity of gun cultures and public safety challenges while applying careful, sensible regulations statewide,” Raoul said. “The court has said that Illinois must allow law-abiding gun owners to carry in public; I say we can do that and still keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them and away from places they shouldn’t be.”
Raoul’s legislation requires a person who wants to carry a loaded gun in Chicago to apply for a separate endorsement on top of the license he or she must obtain from the state police to carry anywhere else in the state. But while Chicago police may conduct their own investigation into an applicant for the city endorsement, they may not arbitrarily deny applications or require successful applicants to meet additional criteria.
“If lawmakers do nothing, on June 9 we could have more than 200 different ordinances regulating concealed carry – one for each home rule municipality,” Raoul said. “My plan is a straightforward alternative that gives gun owners predictability while letting local governments, including Chicago, address their unique needs.”