Illinois became the last state in the country to allow the concealed carry of guns today.
Democratic Governor Pat Quinn tried to veto the bill, but the Illinois state Senate and House shot down his veto. The Senate rejected Quinn’s measure via a 41-17 vote, and the house followed suit via a 77-31 vote.
Although changes may come to the bill in the future, legislators were under intense pressure to pass the bill by today. Today marked the end of a federally imposed deadline telling Illinois lawmakers that they had to allow Illinois residents to carry concealed guns. The federal appeals court ruled that under the Second Amendment, Illinois is not allowed to prevent state residents from carrying guns outside of their homes. If the legislation was not passed today, there would have been virtually no gun laws in place for Illinois residents tomorrow.
“If we do not vote to override [the governor’s veto] today, at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, July 10, there are no restrictions upon people who want to carry handguns in the public way," said Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Chicago Democrat who helped negotiate the legislation.
Under the new law, Illinois residents with a Firearm Owner’s Identification card whom have passed a background check and undergone 16 hours of gun safety training can purchase a concealed carry permit for $150. The mandatory 16 hours of training is the most of any state.
The Illinois State Police Department now has six months to set up a system for reviewing concealed carry permit applications. Police spokesperson Monique Bond says the department is anticipating around 300,000 permit applications in the first year alone.
Governor Quinn had hoped to enact a host of changes to the bill, including where guns are allowed to be carried, how concealed they must be, and how many guns are allowed to be carried at a time. Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno said the legislation is sure to be revisited in the future, but that lawmakers needed to focus on meeting today’s deadline before making other changes.