SPRINGFIELD — The head of an influential bloc of black lawmakers says he may be able to support a law that allows Illinoisans to carry concealed weapons in every county except the state’s most populated one.

State Rep. Will Davis, D-Homewood, who chairs the House Legislative Black Caucus, said Cook County is too congested to allow people to carry firearms on the streets and should be exempted from any statewide concealed gun law.

“I think there could be some room for compromise,” Davis said.

As head of the black caucus, Davis could play a key role in crafting a concealed weapons law in the wake of a federal court ruling Tuesday that struck down as unconstitutional the state law that prohibits most citizens from carrying a concealed handgun in public.

In a 2-1 opinion, the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the General Assembly 180 days to revise its law, saying the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized a right to bear arms for self-defense.

Last year, members of the black caucus were instrumental in helping defeat an attempt by downstate lawmakers to put a concealed weapons law on the books.

Davis said the restrictions in that proposal — which included background checks, mandatory training and limits on where guns would be allowed — didn’t go far enough.

His proposal to exempt Cook County from a new law is just one potential restriction being considered as gun control groups gird for a battle with gun rights organizations such as the National Rifle Association.

Colleen Daley, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, said Illinois lawmakers should approve the most restrictive concealed carry law in the nation.

“We’re not talking about teddy bears here. We’re talking about guns. Guns kill people,” Daley said.

As Daley sees it, once a restrictive law is in place, the NRA and other gun rights groups could then challenge the law in the courts to find out what will be permitted and what will be tossed out.

Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, scoffed at the idea of exempting Cook County.

“Will Davis can go fly a kite,” Pearson said. “We’ve have the court on our side. We’re not exempting Cook County. They are the people who actually need this law the most.”

Meanwhile, in his first public comments about the appeals court decision, Gov. Pat Quinn said he thinks there should be some restrictions on who can get a permit and where concealed weapons can be carried. Those could include barring people with domestic violence records or mental health problems, he said.

“We have to have reasonable limitations so people have clear situations where they should not be carrying a gun,” Quinn said.

(2) comments


I think it is sooo funny how all of the people who have armed security 24/7 say that there should be no guns allowed to the "Free People" of this state. All of the people in Cook County have the same right as any to be able to Conceal and Carry. All of the police/government officials that I converse with agree that it is a right for those who obey the law to be able to carry a firearm. All of the other states support it and the crime rates are no different to what they are in the average suburban area. When it comes to city life, it is a fact that crime rate will go down when the people have the option to protect themselves and their families. It's about time ILLINOIS. Too many Democrats worried about problems that they will never face! Now it's time for those walking alone down a dark street to walk with out fear because I know those unlawful crooks out there will think twice now...


These democrats are insane or stupid. Take your pick. The gangsters couldn't care less about violating gun laws, so the only people unable to fend for themselves are the honest ones. And he wants to make sure he provides an endless supply of victims for them to prey on. It is simply astounding to see real idiocy on display.

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