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Conceal-carry: Heeding court, Illinois becomes 50th state to allow it

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The bill is the result of a ruling last December by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago saying that the existing ban on conceal-carry weaponry in public was unconstitutional. The state was given 180 days to craft a law legalizing conceal-carry. That deadline passed June 9, but the state was given a 30-day extension to pass the law.

If the state had not acted by Tuesday, default legislation would have taken hold, but up until the deadline, the state was allowed to impose certain restrictions.

Some lawmakers criticized Quinn for waiting until the 11th hour to veto the bill because they said more time would have allowed for a more productive debate on the issue.

Quinn released a statement late Tuesday that the legislature “surrendered to the National Rifle Association ... and passed a flawed bill ....” He added, “Public safety should never be compromised or negotiated away.”

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, as well as Quinn, used a recent surge in violence in the city – 74 people were wounded and 12 killed by gun violence over the four-day Fourth of July weekend – to say that more, not less, gun restrictions are necessary.

“Having effective gun control is essential for providing safety throughout the city,” he told reporters Tuesday.

Next Wednesday, the Chicago City Council is holding a special session to pass measures that would strengthen its existing ordinance banning the sale, transfer, and possession of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Mayor Emanuel also wants stricter penalties for gun crimes – a minimum three-year sentence, for example – and even harsher penalties for crimes committed on or near school grounds.

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