05/16/2013 05:01 pm ET Updated May 16, 2013

Illinois Concealed Carry: New Bill Advanced In Springfield Would Require Special Chicago Police OK


The Illinois Senate Executive Committee on Thursday advanced a contentious concealed carry law that would require potential gun owners in Chicago to receive a special approval from police.

The committee voted 10-4 in favor of the bill, which would require gun owners in the state of Illinois to pass a background check and get training before being granted a permit by Illinois State Police, the Associated Press reports. The bill was sponsored by state Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Chicago Democrat.

The bill -- HB 183 -- further bans guns from being carried inside bars, hospitals, child-care centers, sports arenas, schools and casinos and while riding on public trains and buses and would require gun owners to get an additional OK from Chicago police before they are allowed to legally carry weapons in the city.

Gun rights advocates are expected to push back against Raoul's proposal, likely continuing the gridlock in Springfield on the matter.

Writing in a Chicago Sun-Times op-ed, Raoul wrote that his bill "would pose no threat to law-abiding citizens" and anticipated opposition.

"[T]he recent showdown in Washington over universal background checks has exposed the intransigence of extremist opponents of common-sense legislation," Raoul wrote. "They stand in the way of any firearm regulation, no matter how reasonable. They count on an energized minority to thwart the will of the rest of us, but it won’t happen here."

Raoul's bill's expanded control for home-rule cities in Illinois is expected to prove particularly unpopular with gun-rights groups and downstate lawmakers.

"You can imagine how bad that would be," Larry Morse, a board member of the Illinois State Rifle Association, told WSIL-TV. "In one spot in Illinois, you'd be okay, a legal person, cross over some imaginary line into another municipality and you're a felon."

"It's problematic," state Sen. Bivins, a Republican former sheriff from Dixon, told the Chicago Tribune. "You just wouldn't know from town to town whether you are in violation or not."

Illinois lawmakers have until June 9 to agree upon a new concealed carry law after a federal appeals court ruled the state's ban on concealed firearms unconstitutional last December.

If a new law isn't approved by that deadline, "constitutional carry" would take effect, allowing the carrying of guns in public with almost no restrictions, prompting the Cook County Sheriff's Office and other law-enforcement agencies throughout the state to ready backup plans specific to their communities.



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