Illinois gun groups mixed about new legislation

Illinois gun groups mixed about new legislation

By Matt Daray


Various gun supporters and denouncers in Illinois have mixed feelings about the new legislation.

Illinois is now the latest and final state to legalize the concealed carry of firearms for public possession. On July 9th, the state legislation vetoed Gov. Pat Quinn’s amendatory veto against concealed carry and made the state the last in the country to legalize concealed carry. The new law has some Illinoisans excited while others are worried about the future of guns.


The concealed carry legislation was put into law after the Illinois Senate voted 41-17 in favor of vetoing Quinn’s veto of the law. Quinn had used his veto in order to suggest changes to the law such as limiting the number of guns a citizen can carry to one and prohibiting guns in restaurants that serve alcohol.

The concealed carry law allows anyone with a Firearm Owner’s Identification card who has passed a background check and taken 16 hours of gun-safety training to buy a $150 concealed carry permit.

While concealed carry permits will not go into affect until next year, law officials are unsure what kind of impact the concealed carry could have on the state.

Cara Smith, the Cook County sheriff’s chief of policy and communications, said the law presents future challenges for the department because while the law makes it easier for law enforcement to deny certain citizens the right to use concealed carry, the size of Cook County could allow many unsuitable people to obtain concealed carry licenses.

“While that may be a very doable task in a smaller county or municipality, it is a very, very challenging task in a county of 5.2 million people where there are 350,000 – 360,000 FOID card holders,” she said.

Smith said the large number of gun violence in the state is because the system required to receive a FOID card has been broken for years. She said since this system is broken it is hard to say if concealed carry laws will have an impact on gun-related violence.

Smith said she is worried that some law enforcement resources will be devoted to the concealed carry law instead of gun prevention programs.


“Law enforcement resources are shrinking everywhere and we’re having to play a larger role in many south suburban communities in Cook County,” she said. “So, it’s challenging times all-around and we’ll see what the future brings.”

The Carbondale Police Department declined to comment on the effects of the gun law because they are not sure how the law will affect their department at this time.

Though some police departments are concerned about the outcome of the new law, a few gun enthusiasts are pleased Illinois passed the legislation.

Richard Dearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, said he is happy about the law, but thinks the process to get a concealed carry card is too stringent.

“We’re glad that it has passed, but we think the law is way too strict,” he said. “It requires way too much training and is way too expensive.”

Dearson said the law has the largest restrictions out of any state and it would cost about $600 – $700 for the 16 hours of required training. The Illinois State Rifle Association will fight the restrictions of the law as soon as it is implemented and rules are set, which will not take place until at least September, he said.

The Daily Egyptian attempted to contact the anti-gun groups Handgun Control, Inc., the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. All groups were contacted several times by phone and email, but none responded before Wednesday’s deadline.

The National Rifle Association was also contacted several times by phone and email for comment but did not respond before Wednesday’s deadline.