WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Illinois Legislature Approves Conceal-Carry

May 31, 2013

Governor Pat Quinn says he will “review” legislation allowing people to carry guns in public.

The measure sailed through the General Assembly Friday afternoon.  The House approved it, 89-to-28, shortly after Senators approved it on a vote of 45-to-12.

Many of the ideas in this legislation have been out there for months: permits will cost $150, and guns will not be allowed in places such as schools and street fairs.

But unlike one prior plan, cities and counties can keep existing local gun rules -- like Cook County's assault weapons ban. But the concealed carry law will apply statewide.

“There ought to be 59 green lights for this,” said Senator Matt Murphy (R-Palatine), referring to the number of state senators. He said there are risks if a federally-mandated June 9 deadline is not met – most notably, the possibility of conceal-carry being allowed anywhere in Illinois.

But Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), who participated in negotiations between the House and Senate, instead urged his fellow senators to “vote their conscience.”

“No, I am not happy with the end result. But my journey and my assignment was not to achieve my own personal happiness. My assignment was to negotiate a bill," Raoul said.

Both chambers had several lawmakers who said they weren’t satisfied, but they were clearly in the minority.