The wrangling over a final concealed carry bill in Springfield is adding to the uncertainty at the local level. Officials continue to wait and see how a final bill would affect them.
While the state has until July 9th to adopt a concealed-carry law, the process of implementation could take longer. Regardless of how the final version plays out, it appears Illinois State Police will be in charge of issuing permits. Under the bill, the State Police would have 180 days to create the regulatory structure to put the law into effect.
Meanwhile, local police agencies still need guidance on certain enforcement measures. Bill Nicklas heads the public safety department at Northern Illinois University. He says the university’s most important role will be informing students and the general public of the rules on campus.
“It’s not enough to promulgate some rules and regulations and expect people to know what they are. Already there may be some people just reading headlines and nothing below it and not thinking about a licensing program, thinking it’s okay to have a glock in my glove compartment” Nicklas said.
Nicklas says weapons will only be allowed in designated parking areas on campus. He says NIU police need to know what the penalties will be if someone violates the law.
Belvidere Police Chief Jan Noble says his department will also need to get caught up to speed.
“Usually in these cases, the local state’s attorney’s office will do roll call training to remind officers about what the need to do if they encounter someone who is concealed-carry” Noble said.
Noble says a provision law enforcement pushed for was to require permit holders to notify police, say during traffic stops, that they are carrying a weapon. Governor Quinn’s partial veto includes that kind of language. But Noble says they still don’t know if that will be part of the final law.