State Senator Raoul on Concealed Carry: “Although I led initial negotiations on this bill, I cannot support it in its final version”

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) issued the following statement on the Senate’s passage of concealed-carry legislation:

Today the House and Senate passed House Bill 183, moving it to the governor’s desk.  Although I led initial negotiations on this bill, I cannot support it in its final version. Illinois’ hand was forced on the issue of concealed-carry by a federal court’s mandate, but this legislation does not include reasonable gun control provisions I have proposed, such as FOID Card verification and the requirement to report a lost or stolen weapon.

However, this bill does include important provisions allowing for municipalities to regulate guns with some types of local gun ordinances, such as Chicago’s necessary ban on assault weapons and a ban on carrying weapons in parks or street festivals. The NRA unsuccessfully tried to strip away these good laws, along with the city’s ability to use zoning to prevent gun sales next to schools.

Upon my personal insistence, these elements of local control, along with tougher penalties on carrying while intoxicated, remain in the final bill, despite the NRA’s objections. Thus, I felt it would be inappropriate for me to cast a “no” vote. But my present vote should not be mistaken as an expression of support for the final bill. 

I remain dedicated to finding alternative ways to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of people who should not have them. In fact, immediately after the vote on HB 183, I passed a separate bill – House Bill 1189 – that closes the private sale and transfer loophole by requiring a seller to verify that the buyer’s FOID Card has not been revoked. It also required a gun owner whose firearm is lost and stolen to report the loss to police within 72 hours. The enactment of common sense laws like this one is a pre-requisite for making the streets of Chicago – and all of Illinois – safer for everyone.