Cook County commissioners were asked about Sheriff Tom Dart’s conceal carry proposal to be implemented in case Illinois state lawmakers do not pass their own conceal carry law by the June 9 deadline.
Right now, Illinois is the only state that does not allow their citizens to conceal carry. In December 2012, a federal appeals court lifted the ban and gave the Illinois legislature 180 days to pass laws that allow people to carry guns in public.
Cook County includes Chicago, the deadliest city in Illinois. In 2012, the city had 506 murders, the most in the nation. Deaths were down 42% in the first quarter of 2013, but the first month of the year was the deadliest January Chicago recorded in over a decade.
Gun rights advocates will not like Dart’s proposal, especially the part that says citizens may obtain a conceal carry permit only if they prove to Dart they have a reasonable need for protection. Dart did not help matters when he engaged in some good old fashioned fear mongering:
“It would become the Wild West,” said Dart, whose county is the largest in the state and includes Chicago. “If nothing is passed then this will be a state where anyone with a FOID [Firearm Owners Identification] card can carry… a weapon anywhere you want, in churches, on buses, in sports stadiums. I don’t know anybody who can say that’s safe.”
However, if the state or counties pass overly restrictive gun laws, Second Amendment advocates will bring expensive and lengthy lawsuits against them. NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde said they won every lawsuit they brought against the state and will do so again. A few commissioners do not want to repeat the lawsuit that ended the restrictive conceal carry ban.