State gun law: No more local changes

General assembly overrides governor's veto


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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

As Illinois became the last state in the country to make concealed-carry legal, many municipalities scrambled under short deadline to determine if it was necessary to implement an assault weapon ban before that deadline expired.

Cities like Oak Park and Chicago already had the necessary ordinances in place, but River Forest has not adopted a measure. Because the concealed-carry bill prohibits future assault weapons bans, communities had only a 10-day window to enact local laws after the legislation passed.

Oak Park Village Attorney Simone Boutet said because the state law trumps some gun laws in the future, the village won't be able to implement any local ordinances that the law supersedes.

"We won't be able to do anything new or creative," Boutet said. This doesn't mean, however, that Oak Park can't review its codes to determine if there are ways to aid public safety in the community. The village will be reviewing its weapon codes to see how Oak Park can advance public safety, Boutet said.

While the new state law does not trump all gun laws in the future, Boutet said the state law pre-empts regulating concealed carry and local gun registration. The village still has the power to regulate gun stores and other concepts like reporting lost and stolen guns as long as the ordinances align with the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution and state law.

Boutet also called the 10-day time restriction "unreasonable" for municipalities to adopt a good law.

The Oak Park Board of Health was tasked in May 2012 to review options for handgun regulation measures, included a possible local handgun registry, mandatory training requirements for handgun owners, mandatory requirements for handgun storage or use of trigger locks, mandatory reporting of lost or stolen guns within 72 hours, licensing of gun dealers, limitations on location of gun dealers, and voluntary education campaigns and other initiatives. The health board was against all except two.

Board members expressed support for a proposal regarding voluntary education campaigns and other initiatives. No opinion was given on reporting lost or stolen guns in a specific time frame. Now Oak Park won't have the chance to enact any of these policies.

Still, Boutet said Oak Park benefited from having the assault weapon before the General Assembly passed the concealed-carry law because of the quick turnaround other communities were forced to act under.


"We were lucky to have one and we're keeping it," Simone said. "That's not to say we won't have an ordinance review. But we're going to keep it."

Harmon, Quinn disappointed by concealed-carry vote

Governor Pat Quinn's attempt at rewriting the concealed-carry bill failed on July 9, the state's deadline, after the Senate voted 41-17 and the House 77-31 to override the governor's amendatory veto.

Quinn didn't hide his frustration at a press conference in Springfield soon after the bill passed when he said, "Today was a bad day for public safety in Illinois." Quinn's rewrite of the bill included banning handguns and high-capacity weapons from establishments with liquor licenses. He wanted to limit the number of guns a person could carry to one. His version also called for stricter mental health background check requirements for people obtaining a concealed-carry permit.

Quinn had support from state Sen. Don Harmon and state Rep. La Shawn Ford, both of whom voted against the override. But Quinn was also mocked by the House majority leaders for not following the initial vote, according to media reports.

Harmon, who spoke against the bill from the beginning, released the following statement on July 9:

"This law does not focus on keeping people safe," Harmon wrote. "It allows people to carry loaded guns into restaurants that serve alcohol. It doesn't give law enforcement agencies enough time to object when suspected gang members apply for concealed-carry licenses. It cripples local governments' ability to regulate assault weapons. The list just goes on and on.

"I'm disappointed with this new law. I believe we can and should add more protections to when and how people can carry guns in public places. I believe in give-and-take and compromise, but we can't bargain away the safety of our families."

Under the new law, which will soon go into effect, people with concealed-carry permits do not have to inform law officers that they are carrying a gun. This was a major concern addressed by the governor. He also stressed the "common sense" measure of keeping guns out of places that serve alcohol. Mental health reporting was another Quinn suggestion that was not adopted.

In the heated press conference on July 9, Quinn vowed to work with lawmakers to swiftly pass follow-up "common-sense gun laws" to address what he called the shortfalls of the bill.

"There is no need for high-capacity magazines or having multiple weapons," Quinn said, "or more than one high-capacity magazine. This is plain wrong."

Quinn was questioned about why he didn't accept the General Assembly vote, and he responded by saying the job of the governor is to "fight for the common good," which is something individual lawmakers don't always do.

"My amendatory veto was the right thing to do. It was the right thing to do today. It is the right thing to do tomorrow."

Quinn was also questioned about not being involved enough in negotiations, but the governor said he was in the fight from day one. He said he heard from victims of shootings, including families from New Town, Conn., and spoke with members of the legislature "over and over again."

Quinn emphasized that his version of the bill would prohibit multiple high-capacity weapons; he questioned why anyone would need such firepower "unless they are committed to mass murder."

In Oak Park, Police Chief Rick Tanksley has expressed concern with the initial bill and how it could affect law officers conducting their jobs. But because Illinois was prompted by a federal appeals court order, which ruled Illinois' ban of concealed-carry unconstitutional, Tanksley and other local leaders knew change was coming.

"We have to make sure that whatever action is taken addresses the community's concerns in a way that not only will be effective but also will stand up to a court challenge," he said in May.

Oak Park's history on handgun regulation dates back to 1984 when village trustees passed a law banning handguns. It was reinforced by voter referendum in 1985. The ban was overturned in 2010 when the U.S. Supreme Court called the action unconstitutional. The case resulted in the National Rifle Association being granted more than $1.7 million in legal fees from Oak Park and the city of Chicago. This fee was eventually paid entirely by Chicago in accord with an agreement between the municipalities.

Locally, the concealed-carry law will require additional training for officers to remind them of the change. Tanksley said officers are always taught to be prepared for potential threats, but this law would call for additional awareness on the officers' part.

NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect clarifications from errors an earlier version of the article included. The village attorney did not specify that state law trumps all other gun laws in the future. According to the village attorney, Oak Park can still review its weapon code and plans to do so. Oak Park also has the ability to review gun registration laws and adopt local ordinances in a manner that is not in conflict with state or federal laws. The updated version now reflects these changes. 

Email: Twitter: @AnnaLothson

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Posted: July 21st, 2013 11:48 AM

Mike OP- Constitutional rights don't rely on courtesy or bowing like a slave. You want to inform a cop, go ahead. Right to remain silent & right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty for citizens is abolished by DTI. What if the "police officer" is John Gacy? Off duty cops don't have to tell on duty they are armed, or police. When NRA lobbyist Vandermyde puts DTI in the "good" carry bill, and sponsor Phelps refuses to take it out, you can smell a rat. What's lower than a traitor?

Wrong John  

Posted: July 17th, 2013 1:30 PM

John, you don't sound too bright. Police get you to court but the state and mostly the judge keeps you there, police have no control once the state speaks. You speak as if it benefits an officer to lie about DTI. What will they gain besides being fired and getting sued? For the record, retired police officers and active officers know enough to politely state there's a weapon in the car. DTI protects the motorist's life. There is no benefit to lie and say a motorist did not inform an officer.


Posted: July 13th, 2013 9:38 PM

Kevin- Phelps HB148 carry bill in 2011 had IMMEDIATE notification. Vandermyde wrote it. Rep. LaShawn Ford debated Phelps on DTI, & he refused to remove it. Why, if Phelps is the gun guy? Because most NRA & ISRA are small towners who don't think DTI will effect them & are willing to betray Otis McDonald & everyone in Chicago. ISRA makes money on lawsuits. The police drag citizens through court & fine them. Carry bill passed because Federal court forced it, not deals. Traitors & liars.


Posted: July 13th, 2013 6:06 PM

Alt.honest -- even more honest when you complete the quote "In comparison, the gun lobby claims that during the same five-year period guns were used 12.5 million times in self-defense (applying to the five-year period the gun lobby's oft-repeated claim that firearms are used in self-defense 2.5 million times a year). "


Posted: July 12th, 2013 1:28 PM

According to the anti-gun Violence Policy Center, "for the five-year period 2007 through 2011, the total number of self-protective behaviors involving a firearm by victims of attempted or completed violent crimes or property crimes totaled only 338,700."


Posted: July 12th, 2013 10:46 AM

HAPPINESS IS A WORN GUN "Eighty-seven Americans were murdered during burglaries in 2008; statistically, you had a better chance of being killed by bees."

Wrong John  

Posted: July 12th, 2013 5:49 AM

It isn't a crime for an officer to turn off their camera but it is often a violation of departmental policy which will get you hung out to dry if something went wrong. Furthermore, officers can't delete video footage anymore than an employee at Target can delete surveillance footage. Many cameras operate almost completely without the officer's assistance.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: July 11th, 2013 11:15 PM

John - your quote 'DTI is legalized murder for the police state' leads me to believe that you might want to go up a size in the tinfoil hat. I agree that DTI does come with the chance for abuse, but it's not a deal stopper for me. As to the law I really don't like that a felon carrying illegally may have more rights than I do in this situation (5th amendment).


Posted: July 10th, 2013 9:47 PM

joe- Who is an LEO? What if you're stopped by an unmarked car? What if you're stopped on foot by an impersonator, which Ted Bundy did to abduct and rape women? John Gacy had a sheriff's badge he used to lure victims. DTI is legalized murder for the police state. Canton, OH vid is only the one we know about. In IL it's not a crime for cops to delete video. Jon Burge tortured suspects with electric shock, which is why we have no death penalty in IL. You think no cop would lie about DTI?


Posted: July 10th, 2013 3:44 PM

@Mike from Oak Park -- maybe "bleeding" is the wrong metaphor to use when talking about lethal weapons.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: July 10th, 2013 12:14 PM

John - I think we are both agreeing here to the same concept, just taking a different route to get to the goal. I sincerely hope that I never have a reason to use a concealed firearm but also realize that there are elements of society that are willing to cause me great bodily harm or death over a car, the money in my wallet or even a cell phone. We all wish that this was not true and that people could live peacefully. I simply wish to have to ability to defend myself if attacked.

John from Oak Park  

Posted: July 10th, 2013 10:40 AM

I wish that so many people didn't feel it was necessary to carry a concealed weapon. There must be a better way for us to live together as a society.

Governor Jello  

Posted: July 10th, 2013 9:17 AM

Quinn is such a doof. The legislators overriding his veto really shows what an impotent governor he truly is. Unfortunately our next potential candidates are Bill Daley and Lisa Madigan. Ugh. Can the Republicans PLEASE come up with a viable candidate this time around?

joe from south oak park  

Posted: July 10th, 2013 8:05 AM

agreed MB.

Mike Brown   

Posted: July 10th, 2013 7:41 AM

As for the NRA's explanation on DTI in yesterdays senate committee meeting, the Chicago area legislative black caucus was worried something like this Canton Ohio traffic stop would happen to law abiding permit owners. Look at the unprofessionalism of an cop with a bad attitude. (salty language) With the law that did pass, all an officer has to do is ask and the occupants must answer by law. No big deal Oak Park.

Mike from Oak Park  

Posted: July 10th, 2013 2:06 AM

Telling the police officer is a common courtesy. Even if it was not in there, it's not like the law abiding citizen, that took the time to obtain the concealed carry license, would shoot some cop just because he didn't inform him. If you are going to shoot a cop then you probably aren't going to tell him, license or not.I can't wait to carry in bleeding heart Oak Park!


Posted: July 9th, 2013 11:32 PM

Even the trailer bill did not have DTI on contact, it just specified you had to answer the LEO immediately when he asked if you were armed. Also, do not blame Todd Vandermyde, Brandon Phelps, the NRA or the ISRA for the DTI, it was part of the negotiations that allowed this to get passed in the first place. If you want to blame someone blame the anti-gun legislators who would have voted against the bill if it were left out

joe from south oak park  

Posted: July 9th, 2013 11:08 PM

john - at least the trailer bill with DTI on contact without the LEO having to ask was removed. That scares me. Too much room there for abuse either unintentional or intentional. When an LEO takes control of a situation and doesn't give you the chance to inform it can lead to a really bad outcome like what was seen in the video from Ohio.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: July 9th, 2013 11:03 PM

so Illinois finally joins the remaining 49 states as the last one to allow concealed carry. There is a lot in HB183 that is plain silly and other parts that I just disagree with. I really don't care for the bill, but many proponents of gun control feel the same way for other reasons. This legislation is a compromise which means that both sides give up something to get something. A rare sign of good legislation in today's world of party politics.


Posted: July 9th, 2013 10:58 PM

There is Duty to Inform. If a cop asks, you must tell him you are armed & the location of the gun. If you don't, or he lies and says you didn't, you get charged with 6 mo. or 1 yr. in jail. Thanks NRA contract lobbyist Todd Vandermyde for putting DTI in the bill, and thanks Rep. Phelps for refusing to remove DTI! NRA will have to find some new black plaintiffs since Otis McDonald is sick. The traitors at NRA, ISRA & (Southern) Illinois Carry got what they wanted in Mayberry. Hee-haw!


Posted: July 9th, 2013 10:16 PM

Taxpayers disappointed by Harmon, Quinn.

OP Resident from Oak Park  

Posted: July 9th, 2013 10:07 PM

I would love for anyone reading this article, who supports gun control, to explain their opposition to concealed carry. There is no logical argument for anyone who supports gun control.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: July 9th, 2013 9:18 PM

Much ado about nothing. The main effect of this law will be to give some of those poor folks in Chicago a fighting chance against the thugs who don't obey gun laws anyway.

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