An Illinois senator seeking to keep some concealed carry limits in place after a federal judge found the state’s ban unconstitutional said Tuesday that his compromise plan would allow large cities to customize their lists of places that are off limits to concealed weapons.
Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Chicago Democrat, told The Associated Press that cities would be able to designate unique locales, such as a park or cherished landmark, as gun-free zones above and beyond what restrictions would be put into a law allowing public possession of firearms,
Raoul said that a community could have a “sensitive place” not recognized by a state law as not appropriate for people carrying weapons. But the Chicago Democrat predicted there wouldn’t be a great demand for customized places beyond those where concealed weapons already are prohibited under state and local laws.
“They would have to get pretty creative to think of something additional,” Raoul said. “It’s sort of a security blanket to some who are just nervous about concealed carry generally.”
Citing high-crime rates and a “different atmosphere” in places like Chicago, Raoul said it only make sense to limit guns in densely populated areas.
Sen. Tim Bivins, R-Dixon, who had been appointed to work alongside Raoul on the bill, said Tuesday he no longer supports the legislation with this added provision.
“The problem that you have is there are so many competing interests going on in a bill like this that when you try to satisfy a lot to get the votes, you end up satisfying no one,” Bivins said. “Sen. Raoul’s put a lot of work into this … but at this point in time, it’s not something we’re going to agree on.”
The concept of the bill is similar to Gov. Pat Quinn’s long-standing push to give home-rule units the power to create their own concealed-carry restrictions, Bivins said.
“The problem with that is becomes patchwork and you don’t know where it’s legal and where it’s not,” Bivins said.
If you think that would create a problematic patchwork, just let the courts strike down the state’s public carry laws and see how weird things get. There are over 200 home rule units in Illinois. You’d need an iPhone app to figure things out.