concealed carry

On concealed carry gun issue, Illinois looks to N.Y. gun laws

by Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune  |  published on January 2, 2013

As reluctant ruling Democrats face the daunting task of crafting state legislation to allow Illinois citizens to carry guns in public, they may need to look no further than the recent federal court decision that struck down the state’s longtime ban.

In the ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Richard Posner argues that instead of a complete ban on concealed carry, Illinois must follow other states that have struck a balance between public safety and the constitutional right to bear arms. He specifically points to New York, which has one of the most restrictive — and complicated — concealed carry laws in the nation.

Indeed, New York may provide a road map for Democrats who have long opposed guns on Illinois streets and are looking to craft a measure that includes tough restrictions. Not only does the law in New York give broad power to officials to deny gun permits, it also allows New York City to operate under stricter standards than the rest of the state — a nod to the geographical divide also seen in Illinois, where urbanites are less inclined to embrace guns than their counterparts in less populous areas of the state.

When asked if New York should serve as a model during negotiations with the Illinois Legislature, Gov. Pat Quinn said: “Everything must be on the table. … I imagine there will be hearings, I know there will be, on this subject, and there will be an opportunity to bring out the very best way to go for our state.”

Putting any concealed carry measure in place is bound to be a contentious process, pitting those who have continually blocked efforts to pass such legislation against gun rights activists emboldened by the court’s decision. Both sides are looking to other states to serve as a possible model, but the laws are about as different as Chicago skyscrapers are from central Illinois cornstalks.

For instance, a handful of states, such as Alaska and Arizona, do not require any permits to carry guns outside the home. Then there are states like New York, which place the burden on citizens to prove why they need to carry a weapon.

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