As Governor, it is my foremost duty to keep the people of Illinois safe. In the first half of this year, there were 843 shootings and 184 murders in the City of Chicago alone. There's no doubt that gun violence is a plague in many Illinois communities. That's why any changes to our state's gun policy must protect the people and minimize the risk of gun violence on our streets.
On December 11, 2012, three days before the Sandy Hook school tragedy, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, (Case Nos. 12-1269 and 12-1788), without precedent regarding the regulation of guns outside the home, struck down Illinois’ current ban on the concealed carry of guns in public.
Let me be clear, I do not agree with this ruling. However, I am duty-bound to address the mandates of the Court of Appeals, unless the United States Supreme Court rules otherwise.
To fill the legal void left by the Seventh Circuit’s opinion, House Bill 183 creates the Firearm Concealed Carry Act to allow and regulate the carrying of concealed handguns in public places.
I have carefully reviewed every part of this legislation. This is a flawed bill with serious safety problems that must be addressed.
Therefore, I am compelled to use my constitutional authority to rectify several specific issues, to establish a better law to protect the people of Illinois.
There are too many provisions in this bill inspired by the National Rifle Association, not the common good. Public safety should never be compromised nor negotiated away.
With these common sense changes, House Bill 183 will have my approval.
I respectfully request that you review these public safety issues and contact your legislators to share your concerns and urge their support in amending this bill.
Governor Pat Quinn