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When I heard about the latest attempt at a concealed carry bill to bubble up in the Illinois legislature this afternoon (the 396th attempt, I think) I went to someone who I knew would be plugged into the situation: John Boch of Guns Save Life. And what do you know…he’d just put his thoughts up at

“Here’s the situation. There is no June 9th cliff. We don’t have enough votes willing to go over the cliff. We do have the latest bill submitted by Brandon Phelps. Put your drink down and take a deep breath. In fact, you might want to pour yourself about three fingers of your favorite beverage and get a good start on it before reading further. I’ll wait . . .

You’re back. Good. Here’s where we are:

The Speaker of the House has blessed this latest submission by Brandon Phelps for the People of the State of Illinois.


I haven’t even read it carefully yet, but from what I’ve seen it sucks. In fact, I believe I expressed an expletive or three upon scanning it. A $150 application fee – $300 for non-residents. Sixteen hours of training. Class B misdemeanors for prohibited locations first time. Goofy panels. An even LONGER list of prohibited locations.

However . . . It also has across the board pre-emption on all local firearm regulations and restrictions.

Chicago’s gun registration regime?  Gone.

Chicago’s ban on mags, lasers, etc.?  Buh bye.

Cook County’s black gun ban?  History.

Local “safe storage” ordinances? Into the dustbin of history.

It also means we only need a simple majority to tweak it in coming years, not a 3/5ths majority.Why am I writing like I’m trying to sell you this fecal sandwich? Because the alternative, as one downstate Democrat described it to  me, was a combination of the House Bill that Chicago introduced  that got a whopping 31 votes and Kwame’s proposal in the Senate  that hasn’t gotten any votes yet, but is may issue without any sort of pre-emption.

In short, the Speaker offered this proposal that Brandon is offering as an effort to split the baby. On one side he had downstate Democrats saying they are getting pounded by constituents for a shall-issue right-to-carry bill. On the other side, he’s got Rahm and the Chicago Democrats throwing everything and the kitchen sink into the legislature to pass gun control like we’ve never seen.

Madigan knows if either side gets a clean win, it’ll be a bloodbath either in Chicago or downstate. So he’s splitting the baby. He’s giving some red-meat to downstate voters to salvage some downstate Democrats their jobs in part because of some very unpopular votes to come (can you say gay marriage and so-called “medical” marijuana).

And he’s giving Chicago Democrats some of what they wanted in terms of no guns in parks, public transportation and a host of other prohibited locations.

“What if we decline?” I asked one source. He didn’t laugh. He was dead serious.

If we decline his offer, he’s going to stuff a may issue law up our rear ends, without any lube, and move on. He’s done “playing around” on the issue and will let the chips fall where they may as there are bigger issues in Illinois (see above list).

So, folks, that’s where we are. There’s no cliff. Too many politicians have gone squishy and don’t want to run over it. It’s this or another ten years of legal wrangling to undo

whatever else we can get done here and now. And the bright spot is we will only need 60 votes to tweak this in the future if the governor’s copacetic.

Didn’t we get screwed once before? Yes, we did. Again, the Speaker (not sure why I’m capitalizing as he doesn’t deserve the respect) has blessed this “compromise” and told the Democratic caucus that he plans on moving it forward and expects to it to pass. Madigan also expects the Governor will veto the bill and he’s planning on over-riding that veto.

There you go.”

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  1. If Madigan splots IL gun owners he is going to get the mag ban he wants too. IL is headed to slave state-hood.

    • PS this is not a shall issue bill. The board of 7 who sign off on your permot is appointed by the gov. How much you want to bet all people from Chicago will magically be denied?

      • The bills says that a “law enforcement agency may submit an objection to license applicant based upon a reasonable suspicion that the applicant is a danger to himself or herself or others, or a threat to public safety.” Those are the only ones that will go in front of this panel. That is pretty darn specific and will put the burden of proof on the “law enforcement” agency. I can live with that.

        • Until every applicant without political connections has their application by default routed to the “Objection” file.

          Then the average Joe gets denied because an unpaid parking ticket represents “questionable moral character “,so thus the applicant is denied bases on grounds of public safety.

          There’s another problem at hand:how the bill treats carry bans by private businesses.If carrying in a “gun free zone” is a jailable offense , residents of Lake and Cook County may as well save their money.What good is a carry permit if the only legal place its valid is the street?

        • No, you can’t. Might want to read up on how “law enforcement “reasonable suspicion” has been used in Philly to default deny permits. And that’s in a shall-issue state with state preemption. And, as dirty as the government of Philly is, Chicago seems worse on it’s best day.

        • Let me tell you something. Once you take your first bite of this crap pie, the political class will demand you keep eating it, the whole thing. I’ve been thru this before. While attempting to “Tweak” this over the years, a lot of good people are going to suffer. The 7th circuit opinion was as good as it’ll ever get and you’re going to squander it.

  2. Its Illinois.True shall issue will never come to Chicago.

    Here’s what’s going to happen after this bill is enacted.
    Chicago and other anti gun jurisdictions will ignore state preemption and arrest CCW holders on sight anyhow.Who’s going to stop them? The anti gun Governors office? Hahaahahahah.

    Chicago will turn around and reinstate their onerous local regulations at the next city council session.

    Meanwhile,the CCW fee will rise annually-and all sorts of renewal and redemption fees will crop up too.

    Bottom line,we should stick any compromise proposal up Madigans ventral shaft.If were going down,we should go down fighting.

    • I agree without oversight that has teeth preemltion is useless. Some localities in FL kept up with local gun laws until the state threatened them several times with severe sanctions.

      • Oversight? In Illinois? You’re joking, right?

        This is a crap sandwich. This “May Issue” bill is going to turn into a de-facto “No Issue” in about a month.

    • I agree with ST. Todd Vandermyde said this crapola would not make it thru. I take public transportation. The fees too high. F%$k off to compromisers.

  3. Well, this bill does smell to high heaven, but it will pass and I guess it is better than nothing. At least I will be able to carry in my car on the way to other states and not worry any longer. When Sir Madigan says something will pass, it will pass. That’s how this g-d forsaken state works.

    I will take some joy in knowing that Rahm and his minions took it in the A$$ on this one. Knowing chicago has to follow the same rules as the rest of the state is kind of golden. Rahm must be blowing a gasket right now.

    Shall issue, full preemption and throwing the asinine Chicago laws out the window makes this a bill I can swallow.

    • As a fellow Illinois resident, I agree. This may have been the best that we could have realistically hoped for. And state-wide preemption? That is huge. I would no longer be subject to the Cook County AWB. The list of prohibited areas sucks, but they got a parking lot exception in. And the State Police are in control of the permits. I don’t think some of those who have previously posted fully understand what we are dealing with in this State.

      • P.S. The State Police are primarily in control of the permits. The objection/commission process is not ideal, but the make-up of the commission is as bipartisan as one could reasonably expect.

        • @Jeff … seriously, a year ago did you think Illinois would ever pass a shall issue CC law? I sure didn’t. This is start and perhaps the restrictions will ease over time.

        • Honestly, the more I think about it, I couldn’t be happier. We drew the perfect panel for the Madigan case. We won the en banc appeal by a single vote. And we somehow navigated the post-Newtown craziness and are looking at a palatable, albeit imperfect, CCW bill with state-wide preemption. Plus, gun rights advocates have had the majority for years in the state legislature and, with home rule gone, we very well may be able to make this better. Let’s cross our fingers.

        • Agreed Jeff, agreed. I wish I could be a fly on Rahm’s wall to see his tantrum!

        • Indeed. I will laugh my ass off when we start getting NFA items permitted on the state level. I really want me a can.

      • I’m in agreement as well. The state-wide preemption is huuuuge for those of us within Cook Co and the Chicago city limits. It’s not as if anyone pays attention to gun laws around here anyway, but it’s one less thing to worry about.

        Illustrating Chicago’s Murders, Homicides, Violence and Idiocy at

    • I really, *REALLY* don’t give a fig what the magical ballerina has to say about *ANY*thing. Chi-town, you deserve the bastardi.

    • That’s right. Keep patting yourself on the top of your head. This should not be an issue of who gets what stuck up their poop chute.

  4. $300 is awful high .for a non-resident permit. Sounds kinda like NYC’s deal. Hope the litigation follows

    • Dirk, I’m hoping for reciprocity. When WI got their shall issue finally, I figured we (MO) would get another state to add to our list, but they refused honoring ours, something about our background system. Even though 37 other states don’t have a problem with it.

  5. You desperately want pre-emption if you can get it. Here in MD, it’s all that’s saving the folks in the cities from even more insane local gun bans.

    The rest ain’t great, but it’s still shall issue.

  6. I haven’t read it yet either, but I know a lot of folks on don’t like it. I’m not convinced one way or the other. It’s not the bill we wanted. You would think that politicians would stand their ground on something as black and white as an Amendment to the Constitution, but you would be wrong. The squishy bastards will roll over at the drop of a hat. My fear is that if Madigan had anything to do with it, there is something sneaky in there. It’s going to be expensive, it’s going to be time consuming. But we will be able to carry in a lot of places downstate. The people in Chicago will have a tougher time of it. But there will be concealed carry in downtown Chicago, not so much in New York, Boston or L.A.

    • tell me what stops law enforcement from objecting to every application and the review board appointed by the gov from denying every application?

      • maybe. I think this is a fast one. “reasonable suspicion” allows the NYPD to stop and frisk anyone they see. the court challenge is moot, and it’ll be another 5 years before the “no-issue” by the board is evident. I guess i fail to see the downside of waiting to see what SCOTUS says.

    • You will have CC downtown untill one of rahm’s “best” thugs gets shot, then let the saving the children begin, best of luck, Randy

  7. I don’t understand the “We don’t have enough votes willing to go over the cliff.”

    There is no cliff. Come June 10th, they request a stay pending appeal to SCOTUS, they get one, appeal, and then get another whole year. If they don’t appeal, SCOTUS might take Wollard, and they might be fu^&ed anyway. Or, maybe not. Either way, they buy time.

    Nothing here stops law enforcement objecting to every application, the review board (whose records are sealed and not subject to open meetings laws) from denying every applicant. This is not shall issue. Its not even may issue. It’s no-issue rubber stamped by governor appointees.

    I don’t see where it overrides local laws on storage, etc, but i only skimmed the bill.

    Seems like a big smokescreen to me for nada.

    • Right. Far too many here cannot see the forest for the trees. Nobody is considering this in the context of the 7th circuit opinion. They ruled the state’s prohibition unconstitutional…so, someone want to convince me they would not uphold any prohibition by a local unit of gov’t?

      • The Seventh Circuit said nothing substantive about may issue vs. shall issue. Judge Posner hinted that he was against may issue by criticizing the Second Circuit decision, but the en banc appeal was decided by one vote with no indication as to how the other judges leaned on any thing other than a complete ban. So … if we went past the deadline, every jurisdiction against CCW would have passed a may issue law. Since the original case only involved the state law, that means new litigation with absolutely no guarantee of success. That’s why. And, yes, all of us in Illinois vested in this issue are factoring in the Seventh Circuit’s decision.

  8. California charges app. $150 for a new license, plus 16 hours of training (add another $165-200). Some jurisdictions, as permitted by the law, require a psych eval (add $200). I can’t remember the renewal fee, but its only 4 hours of refresher class. BUT WE ARE MAY ISSUE and the law states that we must have good moral character and GOOD CAUSE. Except in the rural areas (where self-defense is good cause), the good cause requirement is regularly used to deny civilian rights to bear arms. All things considered, not an awful bill, and certainly better than our situation, or New York’s. Or New Jersey. Or Massachusetts.

  9. Actually, this bill appears to have all the hallmarks of those days of yore when dems and republicans actually managed to come up with a workable compromise. Sure, both sides will have things they hate, but that is the nature of compromise in politics when you have such diametrically opposed viewpoints.

    I say, let it fly. A few steps forward is better than many years of legal battles. Anyone who thinks that the courts are just going to open the floodgated in IL once the deadline passes are kidding themselves. Take what you can get now and work on fixing it later.

  10. This bill Sucks. But i am used to it, i live in illinois. Is there reciprocity built in? Will my Fl permit work till i take the stupid 16 hr training and pay the big tax… i mean fee.

        • Indiana will gladly let you use your permit. We take any permit, although they enforce the terms of the issuing state, so that list of prohibited locations will still apply while you’re here.

  11. I could only make to page 30 or so, before wanting to vomit. This bill stinks.

    To hell with Chicago. I say let Chicago and everything above I80 become the 51st state. We can then begin to FIX IL.

    • Fixing Illinois is a whole separate issue. Plus, I think upstate New York has dibs on the 51st state. As someone from Central Illinois who is now living in Cook County, there is nothing wrong with Northern Illinois … except Cook County. DuPage, Will, and Kane are not bastions of statism and are far better than many downstate counties.

      • If NY gets to be 51, can we just eject SoCal and make it a US territory or something? I shudder to think that it would be its own separate state, but the NorCal residents deserve better than the scum coming up from North Mexico.

  12. My wife and I drive in south IL a couple of times a year from MO to VA. It’s a shame it would cost up about $1000 for us to get our IL CCW to safely drive in the state with weapons.

  13. People of Illinois.
    Please don’t accept this bunch of drivel as better then nothing.
    It amounts to almost nothing at all.

    • So, as I watch NY, NJ, MD, CT, RI, and CO crumple in the legislature and pray for federal courts to see it our way, I am a fool to see this bill pass after months of attempts to RESTRICT my rights? Must be nice to live in utopia.

  14. We have a proverbial gun to our heads.

    We take this deal, as offered by Madigan, or we get something *much* worse.

    And, crossing our fingers, the mag ban goes away quietly into the night as a side bonus.

    It’s getting very fatiguing constantly fighting the good fight. I’m starting to look for employment in Indianapolis.


    • I can understand the burnout, but Indianapolis doesn’t need you as much as Illinois does. You’re doing an amazing job for the people of the state. When this is over, Illinois should throw you a parade.

  15. I’m only on 4th or 5th page and it says that the application doesn’t even have to be available for 180 days after passage of the Act and the approval has to be within 90 days of the submission of a completed form – no one’s seeing anything from this until next March at the earliest. If you don’t submit “electronic” fingerprints (wonder what that will cost), there is up to another 30 days before completing the application which will be permitted. We’re up to 300 days from passing the Act if you’re doing the math along with me.

    Any time it takes to complete a course to get a certificate front loads the time before you can submit an application of course so we’ve broken the 300 day mark by may estimation.

    The only thing I’ve seen regarding anything approaching “reciprocity” is that if you have a CCW from another state, you can carry in your vehicle but only in your vehicle. You might get credit for up to 8 hours of the training time if you have training time associated with another state’s CCW program but you still need classroom and range proficiency (hitting a target at 5, 7, or 10 yards seems pretty meager as a marksmanship requirement).

    The preemption section is probably the only thing that makes this poop sandwich palatable as it will help free our brothers and sisters trapped in Cook County and the City of Chicago even if they don’t apply for a CCW.

    This is far from perfect but as others have pointed out, the preemption alone helps everyone right now and once this thing is a law, it’ll be amenable to changes in the future to help improve it (like lessening some of the crazy carry location restrictions).

    • I’ve been fingerprinted electronically and I much prefer it to rolling my digits around in greasy ink (which I have done at least a dozen times). I think electronic prints are cheaper, and I know it’s faster.

      When I was printed in MA for my LTC-A, the local po-po did my ten card in ink for free. When I needed a ten card for my Florida CWFL, the local police did that one for free also.

  16. The important thing here is – will Illinois honor Iowa CCW permits?

    P.S. Iowa doesn’t sign reciprocity agreements with other states, it simply honors every other state’s CCW permits. 28 states reciprocate.

  17. Yes. It’s a stinker. Yes. It does things it shouldn’t. Yes. It’s probably going to be challenged and no, we won’t see permits until the winter time (they have 180 days) but it’s MUCH better than most things that have been floated and MUCH MORE likely to pass than the stuff we (or the anti-gunners) actually want. Also, the fact that it nullifies the CFP and Cook Co. AWB and the rest of the home-rule patchwork (as long as preemption stays in the bill) is a HUGE win for Illinois and a HUGE F*@k you to Rahmbo.

    • obama promised to uphold the US Constitution, they are promising this this & that. Illinois gun law promises might as well come in a Cracker Jack box, Randy

  18. This bill has zero reciprocity which means no other states will offer reciprocity. This bill is a sellout and full of bs. I can’t get out of my car and walk over to pick up my kids from school without the risk of being arrested. I filled out a witness slip against it.

  19. Anything short of shall issue, regardless of any other features, is fundamentally unacceptable and unconstitutional. Negotiations start with a fill-in-the-blank bill template, where “shall issue” is pre-printed on the form.

    There’s more to lose and more time to waste by accepting a hollow bill now, then trying to tweak it later, than by stepping into the fray from the start and committing to further litigation.

    If it took individual federal judges taking over directly entire school districts and prison systems to impose progress there, then as a worst case scenario we can resort to that approach. It takes a good guy with a branch of government to stop a bad guy with a branch of government.

  20. is officially neutral on the bill. They are taking no position, now that is interesting.

  21. a)” Within 45 days of the effective date of this Act, the
    Department shall begin approval of firearm training courses and
    makes a list of approved courses available of the Department’s
    So we have to wait another 45days + To see who is approved to give the firearm training course…More B.S.

  22. At least it’s a step forward. I’ve not read the bill yet, but if it’s true that it preempts local (i.e., Chicago) pols, then it’s a huge step forward, whatever other administrative inconveniences/stupidity (ban in parks?!??) it imposes.

    And it’s fantastic that they at least offer the possibility of nonresidents getting a license too. Once it becomes available, I may have to apply for one. I’ve had to go to Chicago periodically for business.

  23. Like I said, we are being bullied in the United States and unfortunately the bullies are also in politics like Chicago and Illinois Congress.

  24. Commentary on how this all went down politically can be found the Illinois Carry forum thread below. It is written by one of the forum moderators that has been on the front line of this battle all along.

    The power that Madigan has to influence the both houses of government is simply wrong. Illinios politics is not a democracy (no surprise to anyone) it is a monarchy. No one should have that much power, he needs to go!

  25. Illinois can’t get a good bill. Imagine what would happen if it was effective. Every Chicago politician would have to eat their words. By crippling it and preventing people that need it, read: Chicagoans, they have a chance that crime stats won’t change or even get worse and their claims remain unscathed.

  26. Read part of it. Due to the extensive list of places you cannot legally carry, this is a de-facto ban on carry in Chicago (at least from on outsider’s perspective). If public transportation is as important there as it is in most cities, most people, especially lower income people, will simply not be able to take their guns with them. And watch how long it takes for the city to pressure businesses into putting up “no guns allowed signs.”

    So, you can carry a gun. If you jump through their extensive series of hoops. And the police deem you worthy (based on their own subjective judgment). As long as you don’t actually plan on going anywhere or doing anything while you are out. In which case you might as well stay home. But at least you can home carry a loaded gun while you knock around your apartment. Or while you are out jogging or walking, as long as you are careful.

    It’s truly sad if this is a step in the right direction for Illinois.

    • If public transportation is as important there as it is in most cities, most people, especially lower income people, will simply not be able to take their guns with them.
      Public transport is used by far more than lower income people. If you work downtown and dont want to spend $300+ a month on parking, or travel downtown and dont want to spend $25 for a couple hours parking, you take public transport.

  27. This is the best of the bad options. Pass it and make it better, we only need a majority to do so. I like how it was said before, its a good gun bill, bad carry bill. However, as permits get issued and fears subside, then work to better the bill. I’ll be happy if the mag cap bills die as a result. Gov. Quinn shamelessy used the Newton families as props this week to push that issue. And this bill looks to screw Rahm and Quinny-poo more than us, so I’ll begrudingly support it.

  28. Folks

    I have been involved in the fight in illinois for a number of years.

    This is a good bill, a great starting place. Many other States in recent years started very similarly and had to work up getting all of the restrictions eased over the years. that is still ongoing in many of them.

    All the geographical restrictions will end over the years.

    I have been carrying a gun legally everyday in Illinois since LEOSA passed and now the rest of my family, my friends, my neighbors and all the other American citizens living in Illinois will get to join me.

    Once this passes, we’re not stopping, we’re still fighting. Thanks to Todd Vandermyde of the NRA, the staff and folks at Illinois Carry and John Boch and “GunSsaveLives” , pigs will fly in Illinois beginning tomorrow and hell will freeze over by the end of next week.

  29. The ‘carry’ part of this bill is a big sh*t sandwhich on moldy bread. With stinky cheese.
    The pre-emption part of the bill is a giant triple layer ice cream cake for us poor suckers who have to live in Chicago. I’ve been biding my time, waiting for the incredibly unconstitutional laws of the City to get tossed, and when/if this passes, I will feel bad for all the people that ponied up and jumped through all the hoops to be ‘allowed’ to own a gun in Chicago.
    Now, to vote some sensible people into office, and get those ridiculous fees and prohibited carry locations removed.
    Also, did anyone else notice the fact that they say ‘completely or mostly concealed (emphasis mine) from view of the public’? That’s right. It’s okay to print/flash your piece accidentally without getting stomped on. (Legally speaking.) Though I’m sure a Chicago po-po would have you eating pavement so fast you’d think he though it was a donut.

  30. madigan in a more or less way has made tiny dancer the “sacrificial lamb” on this bill
    by throwing tiny under the bus he gets the chicago votes he needs for for his daughter’s shot at the governorship as appeasing the downstate democrats for votes
    unfortunately the only bright spot in this whole bill is tiny getting thrown under the bus the is a watered down may issue give up right to privacy and and basically be only to cc in front of your house the 16 hour requirement is ridiculous when everyone is 4hours and the poll tax on your right to carry

  31. One of the big problems with this bill is that violating any of the numerous, sneaky “No Carry Zones” is a misdemeanor. Get arrested a few times too many (for any reason, without conviction) and no more CCW for you.

    The lousy list of prohibited places is completely ridiculous.


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