Hunter-GunsMajority Caucus Whip State Sen. Mattie Hunter made this statement regarding the passage of concealed carry legislation:

“My approval of this legislation is not without reservations. This plan that still leaves much to be desired in the way of addressing public safety and the current violence epidemic. But I realize the importance of making sure we have a statute in place to protect our citizens and communities before the June 9th deadline given to us by the Federal Appeals Court. Although I would like to see a proposal that more carefully and thoroughly considered the current gun violence crisis devastating Chicago and the communities I represent, the reality is we must have something established by the June 9th deadline to avoid the instatement of constitutional carry.”

House Bill 183 establishes that the Illinois State Police will issue a concealed-carry license to any qualified applicant. To qualify, an applicant must:

Have a valid Firearm Owners Identification card

• Be at least 21 years old

• Complete the required 16 hours of firearms training

• Not have any convictions for violent misdemeanors in the past five years

• Not have two or more DUI convictions in the past five years

Also required with the application is a fingerprint and background check conducted by the state police, who must approve or deny the application within 90 days. The cost of a concealed-carry license is $150, and the licenses are valid for five years.

While HB 183 gives a person the right to carry a concealed handgun, there are restrictions as to where a gun may be carried. These include:

• Schools

• Preschools and day-care centers

• Playgrounds

• Parks (except bike paths or trails)

• Cook County Forest Preserve

• Colleges and universities

• Government buildings

• Correctional facilities

• Medical facilities

• Public transportation

• Public gatherings (although a licensee may pass through to reach their home, workplace or vehicle)

• Bars, casinos and race tracks

• Libraries, museums, zoos and amusement parks

• Stadiums

• Special events where alcohol is served

• Places prohibited by federal law

Additionally, any private property owner may restrict carrying concealed weapons on his or her property but must post a sign saying so. Homeowners are not required to post such signage, however. Carrying a firearm while under the influence of alcohol also is prohibited.

Now having approved the approval of the General Assembly, the Illinois legislature’s concealed carry package encompassed in House Bill 183 advances to the governor.

Category: Social Justice

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