Should Illinois fail to enact a concealed-carry bill by June 9, what happens next?
The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on December 11 that Illinois' prohibition against concealed carry is unconstitutional. Then it wimped out and gave the State 180 days to pass a law.
The legislature, with the notable exception of less than a handful of responsible Representatives and Senators, has twiddled its thumbs and remained stuck somewhere between no action and senseless attempts to jam a "bad" bill through the House.
What could happen?
The General Assembly could come to its senses and pass a bill that is much like the laws in the other 49 states.
The Democrat-heavy General Assembly could pass a "bad" bill (excessive classroom training, excessive range requirements, high fees, restrictive licenses, carve-out for Chicago and Cook County (and other jurisdictions that might follow), "may issue" (giving the county sheriff or local police chief the power to withhold or stall approval of an application). It needs only 60 votes (out of 118) to do so.
The Illinois Senate (40 Democrats (67%), 19 Republicans) can pass about any piece of trash it wants, and the Illinois House (71 Democrats (60%), 47 Republicans) also can. The Illinois State Rifle Association thought in March that it could block a "bad" bill, but can it? Is Madigan so powerful that he can twist enough arms to muster a YEA vote on about any bill he wants to pass? Only 60 votes in the House would pass a bill that could carve out Cook County and Chicago.
This would mean, effectively, that there would not be one law for the entire State. You could carry legally with a permit in much of the State but, if you enter Cook County, you risk becoming a felon. Is that right?
There is a good bill (HB 0997) that went back to the House Rules Committee on April 19, where it has languished under the thumb of anti-gunner Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, Chair. Are the current sponsors of this Bill trying hard to get it out of Committee and persuading their fellow Representatives to vote for it?
Or, are they just sitting there behind their little sign that reads, "I sponsored it" and think that's enough? It's not!
Another choice is fail to do anything. And then? Many think that Constitutional Carry will become the law in Illinois. Ha! Madigan and Cullerton won't let that happen!
But then Counties and Cities would probably leap into the fray and write their own laws, creating a patchwork quilt of laws that no one will understand and that are guaranteed to lead to conflict and arrests.