Chicago’s Cook County Looks to Pass Concealed Carry Laws

Illinois continues to be the only state that does not have a law allowing people to carry concealed firearms.

This delay has resulted in areas of the state proposing their own ordinances in the event Illinois legislatures can’t make a decision regarding concealed carry by June 9th. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said he will propose a concealed carry law for Cook County that would take effect only if the General Assembly failed to act by the June deadline.

Dart fears that if the General Assembly can’t pass a law, anyone with a state firearm owner’s identification card could legally walk anywhere in public with a concealed weapon. “We would have the Wild West,” he said. “There would be no regulation.” Under Dart’s ordinance Cook County would have the power to approve and reject licenses and would be a “may issue” ordinance rather than a “shall issue” ordinance. May issue licenses would allow Dart and Cook County to retain more control over who gets concealed carry licenses and where gun owners can carry their weapons in public. The NRA and other gun-rights activists advocate shall issue licenses or concealed carry permits that are authorized under the guise that the applicant undergoes necessary training and passes a background check.

Under the proposed Cook County ordinance, the may issue law would essentially only grant licenses to people who demonstrate a need to carry a firearm for protection. This would mean that someone without a specific need for a gun would have a difficult time obtaining a license. This ordinance would likely anger some populations as elderly residents in the south suburbs have already complained the response times of the local police were too long and that they were often burglarized while attending church. These residents have expressed interest in obtaining concealed carry permits for reasons like these and fear that the may issue laws would prevent them from legally carry a weapon within their homes. In states like Florida concealed carry licenses are currently most popular amongst seniors for reasons similar to those that plague the elderly of Cook County.

Also similar to Florida concealed carry permit law, the proposed Cook County ordinance would ban concealed weapons in many public places including mass transit, schools, child-care facilities, sporting venues, hospitals, government buildings and police stations.

Illinois has until June 9th to set concealed carry laws in response to the declaration by the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the state’s ban on public gun possession was unconstitutional.

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