While Attorney General Lisa Madigan seeks to provide Gov. Pat Quinn with more time to consider the bill, concealed carry legislation that passed through the Illinois General Assembly last week has come under fire
from the Illinois Press Association.
The legislation has drawn ire for an alleged lack of transparency because it includes certain exemptions
from the Freedom of Information (FOIA) and Illinois Open Meetings acts.
“The rationale is simple. There should not be secret government,” Don Craven, attorney for the Illinois Press Association, told the State Journal-Register.
the legislation, gun owners who wish to carry their weapon in public
are susceptible to a review by the State Police. If a concealed
carry application is rejected by law enforcement, a seven-member
governor-appointed Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board will be
charged with making the final determination of whether the applicant is
eligible for a permit.
Not only does the bill keep the
identity and personal information of individuals who have applied for or
received a concealed carry license secret — which is not what the Press
Association opposes — but it amends the Illinois Open Meetings Act to
close meetings and keep deliberations of the review board secret from
“There has to be some public indication of the
existence and operation of that public body,” Josh Sharp, director of
government relations for the Illinois Press Association, told the
newspaper. “The way the bill is set ... if the seven-member body wants to
meet in one of their own basements at midnight and talk about denying
someone a license, they could do that.”
Adding that it is “just
bad public policy,” Sharp criticized the public’s lack of knowledge of
the review board’s financial undertakings, as mandated by the
legislation, and called for increased disclosure and transparency.
review board will be made up of a federal judge, two attorneys, three
FBI agents and one mental health expert. After being appointed by the governor, board members will need Illinois Senate approval.
monthly report submitted to the governor discloses the number of
concealed carry objections made by the review board, and the conditions
by which decisions were made. Identification information for applicants would be excluded from the monthly report.
“If they want to
go into closed session to talk about, you know, 800 applicants for
concealed-carry licenses, go ahead and do it. That’s not what we’re
after,” Sharp said.
Identities of Illinoisans who are
issued Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Cards are not disclosed
under FOIA, according to current law.
The bill, HB 183, has advanced to Quinn and is waiting for his approval.
were given a June 9 deadline to legalize concealed carry in the state
following a December ruling by the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
that found Illinois’ concealed carry ban to be unconstitutional.
On Monday, Attorney General Madigan requested an extension on the state’s deadline from the courts in attempts to give Quinn an additional 30 days to consider the bill.
request for an additional 30 days would allow the governor a reasonable
amount of time to fulfill his state constitutional duties,” Madigan
said in a statement.
“Further, if granted, this additional
time would help prevent a situation in which there is no state law in
place governing the carrying of handguns in public, which the Court
sought to avoid in setting the original stay.”
A spokesperson for Quinn called the move “appropriate.”
bill has not yet arrived. Ordinarily, under the Illinois Constitution,
the governor has 60 days to review a bill upon its arrival,” Brooke
Anderson, spokeswoman for the governor, told the Chicago Sun-Times.