SPRINGFIELD-State lawmakers can pass a more restrictive law enabling Illinois gun owners to carry concealed weapons after Monday's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to overturn New York's concealed-carry law, Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Monday.
New York law requires gun owners to demonstrate they have a special need to carry their weapons outside their homes and says that state "may issue" a permit, rather than requiring an automatic process favoring gun owners. Gun-rights advocates challenged that law, saying it amounted to a virtual ban on concealed carry.
The court's major decision on the reach of the 2nd Amendment comes as Illinois faces a court-imposed 180-day deadline to craft a state law allowing gun owners to carry concealed weapons after a federal appeals panel rejected an outright state ban on it.
"The new thing that happened today is the U.S. Supreme Court did not take the case out of New York, which was brought by gun-rights individuals who are interested in a more expansive law in New York," Madigan told reporters.
"So New York currently has a 'may issue' statute, and in New York, you have to show you have a special need in order to receive a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
"Really what that means in terms of what's going on in Illinois with the Legislature is the Legislature can now look up and say a 'may issue' [statute] is something that at this point is constitutional. So that should have an impact obviously on the discussions and debates going on under the dome," she said.
Late last year, a federal appeals court rejected an Illinois law that barred most gun owners from carrying their weapons outside their homes and gave the state until June 9th to structure a statute permitting that.
But there has been little consensus mid-way through the spring legislative session in Springfield, leaving the framework of a concealed-carry law very much up in the air.