Public weapon possession in Illinois
Even though the state of Illinois has only a month or so before they will be forced by a federal court order to allow public possession of firearms, the state’s Governor, Patt Quinn is not giving up on the idea that such permissions should be given out on a city level instead of being statewide.
Illinois is currently the last state with a concealed weapons ban, and since the federal appeals court has determined this to be unconstitutional, they have to revise this policy. The question now is how is this to be done. People in favor of stricter gun control are pushing for the “may issue” legislation, which would allow the police to veto issuing this licence to certain people, while those who claim that this infringes on a personal right to self defense are lobbying for a “shall issue” regulation, which would mean that anyone who passes background checks and training can carry a concealed weapon anywhere in the state.
The state’s Governor expresses belief in the competence and integrity of the local governments in the state and believes that home rule cities in the Illinois (which covers some 70% of the state’s population) should be given the authority to regulate their own gun laws. The greatest concern, naturally is Chicago, as the Governor continued to say, that if this could not be universal, it should at least apply to the areas that are most affected with criminal activities.
However, gun advocates claim that this would not only place too much power in local governments, but that it would also create terrible confusion. A person who might be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in an area which is under the jurisdiction of one local government would be breaking the law by keeping that weapon in another area.
As both approaches seem to have too many faults to satisfy the majority, a compromise of sorts have been reached, and it is mostly based on a “shell issue” legislation, with the provision that Cook County could keep some control over who is allowed to carry a concealed firearm. The Chicago police, or a sheriff in the suburban parts, would have to give their approval before a person is issued such a permit. However, their decision to deny someone this right would not be valid statewide, but would only apply in the county.