Emotions were high yesterday as the Illinois House debated, and eventually voted down, an amendment that would grant local officials the authority to issue concealed carry permits.
Sponsored by State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), the amendment was attached to HB 0831. Called a “may issue” concealed carry amendment, it was modeled after legislation in New York.
the proposed amendment, gun owners would have had to show a need for concealed carry
and receive permission from the county sheriff before a permit was
issued. It was rejected in the House by a 31-78 vote.
“This model has been
upheld by four appellate courts,” Cassidy said, addressing the chamber
yesterday. “We can do this in a way that works for us. I don’t believe
that more guns are the solution to our problem in Chicago.”
The U.S. Supreme Court also upheld New York’s “may issue” concealed carry law this week by refusing to hear a challenge.
gun rights advocates questioned local authorities’ objectivity when
issuing concealed carry permits and argued the bill essentially meant
some parts of Illinois would not see concealed carry, infringing on
Second Amendment rights.
“We don’t need bureaucrats issuing these
permits to their friends and such,” said State Rep. Jerry Costello II
(D-Smithton), who noted that less than one tenth of 1 percent of New Yorkers
have concealed carry permits.
State Rep. Brandon Phelps
(D-Harrisburg), who voted against Cassidy’s “may issue” amendment, said
the bill did not restrict fees imposed on concealed carry permits.
“These are unlimited fees. This could be $1,000 a permit,” he said. Phelps is currently drafting his own concealed carry bill, HB 0148, which would enforce a fee of $100.
Debate over Cassidy’s amendment became heated when State Rep. Mike
Bost (R-Murphysboro) questioned the constitutionality of the
legislation, and State Rep. Scott Drury (D-Highwood) labeled some of his
arguments as “nonsense.”
Bost responded to Drury with a screaming rant, prompting the presiding officer, State Rep. Al Riley (D-Olympia
Fields), to demand order and threaten to bring in doorkeepers if the lawmakers did not calm down.
“Here’s my point, members,” Drury said, regarding Bost's outburst. “We don’t want someone like that carrying a concealed weapon.”
that point the chamber floor erupted with outbursts from several
Illinois lawmakers who joined Bost in the argument. Riley was forced to
threaten to bring in doorkeepers before the legislators calmed down.
Bost later apologized for his frenzy. Video of the argument can be viewed here.
A federal appeals court struck down Illinois’ conceal carry ban in December, giving Illinois lawmakers a June 9 deadline to draft legislation.