The Illinois Senate [official website] joined with the Illinois House of Representatives [official website] Wednesday to pass a bill [HB 183, text] that permits state residents to carry concealed firearms with limited restrictions. The bill prohibits carrying a firearm in schools, courthouses and government buildings and has restrictions based on mental health. Prospective carriers must be 21 or older, pay a fee, possess a valid weapon ownership identification card and have a clean criminal record. Last week, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn [official website] reportedly leveraged his veto power in an attempt to insert more restrictive proscriptions into the bill, including limiting lawful possession to one firearm per person. Illinois lawmakers, however, voted to override [AP report] Quinn's proposed amendments by large margins in both the House and the Senate. The bill's passage follows a ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website] that invalidated [JURIST report] Illinois' previous concealed carry prohibition as violative of the Second Amendment [text]. Illinois now joins the other 49 states in approving some type of concealed weapon.
Passage of the Illinois bill is the latest development in the ongoing Second Amendment and gun control debate. In April the US Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to a New York state gun law [JURIST report] requiring those who desire to carry a concealed handgun to show they have a special reason before they can obtain a license. In March Utah Governor Gary Herbert vetoed a bill [JURIST report] that would have allowed people to carry an unloaded, concealed gun without a permit. Also in March the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled [JURIST report] that Maryland can require concealed-carry handgun permit applicants to provide a "good and substantial reason" for wanting to carry a gun outside the home.