Concealed carry bill passes Illinois House - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Concealed carry bill passes Illinois House

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The concealed carry bill passed the Illinois House in a 85-30-1 vote Friday afternoon. The compromise plan now goes to the State Senate for a vote.

Gun owners in the only state still banning concealed weapons would win that right under a plan approved by the Illinois House on Friday, but the governor and other powerful Democrats oppose the plan because it would wipe out local gun ordinances -- including Chicago's ban on assault weapons.

The proposal was brokered by House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, as a way to abide by a federal appeals court's ruling that ordered the state to adopt a concealed-carry law by June 9. But the plan has drawn strong opposition, with Gov. Pat Quinn calling it a "massive overreach" because of the way it would curb local firearms regulations.

Chief among those regulations is Chicago's ban on assault-style weapons, which would be stricken from the books. That's a deal-breaker for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who backs tough restrictions to curb gun violence in the nation's third largest city.

"This legislation is wrong for Illinois. It was wrong yesterday in committee, it's wrong today, and it's wrong for the future of public safety in our state," Quinn said in a statement after the House vote.

"The principle of home rule is an important one. As written, this legislation is a massive overreach that would repeal critical gun safety ordinances," he said. "I will not support this bill and I will work with members of the Illinois Senate to stop it in its tracks."

The measure would require Illinois State Police to issue a permit to any applicant who has a Firearm Owners Identification card, completes required training, passes a background check, and pays a $150 fee. But it significantly broadens the places where guns would be prohibited, including mass-transit buses and trains, which was a demand of Chicago Democrats.

The legislation is being sponsored by Rep. Brandon Phelps, a southern Illinois Democrat and ardent gun-rights supporter whose more permissive plan failed by seven votes last month.

Madigan stepped in after that failed vote, and the resulting plan would pre-empt any city or county gun regulation, such as taxes on gun sales or requirements for reporting lost or stolen guns. Phelps and Madigan argue that it would be best to have one statewide law to reduce confusion and have future restrictions get state legislators' approval in Springfield.

But Quinn's office said the pre-emption would jeopardize public safety.

The legislation also is opposed by Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat like Quinn and Madigan.

"It's an overreach by the NRA," Cullerton said. "I'm opposed to it. The governor's opposed to it. The mayor's opposed to it. I'm going to work very hard to defeat this."

Senate President John Cullerton spoke to FOX 32 News by satellite shortly after the Illinois House voted 85 to 30 to permit people to carry concealed, loaded firearms. Cullerton's anger was aimed at the bill's other main provision, repealing every current local gun law, something federal courts have not ordered. The House Sponsor, though, argued that Illinois's patchwork of local laws amount to an infringement on the Constitution's Second Amendment.

"The law-abiding gun owner traveling through the state is not going to know from one town to another what is expected of them," Rep. Brandon Phelps says. "So, what you're doing is you're making law-abiding gun owners criminals."

Cullerton predicted the Senate next week would pass concealed carry rules virtually identical to what the House passed Friday. But he said the senate would not agree to the House bill's attempt to repeal local communities' gun control laws.

"This is a bill that wipes a number of laws that have been passed by local jurisdictions," Cullerton says. "In fact, it's so broad that one could argue that you couldn't even deal with zoning for gun shops. If they wanted to come into your town, you couldn't even deny them zoning. That's how broad this is. And it wipes out a number of well-thought out ordinances passed by a number of municipalities."

Cullerton said he hopes the General Assembly will meet the June 9 deadline set by a federal court to establish rules for concealed carry, but if no statewide compromise is achieved, he said he expects Cook County and other local communities to enact rules of their own.

The legislation was forced by a 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in December that decreed the state's ban on concealed carry unconstitutional. The court gave lawmakers until June 9 to enact a law.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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