Madigan Points To NY Law For Concealed Carry

Apr 16, 2013

Lisa Madigan
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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says a U.S. Supreme Court decision should help settle an aspect of the debate over concealed carry in Illinois. One of the more contentious issues comes down to a choice between two words.                        

Those two words are "may" and "shall."

Gun-rights advocates want the law to say Illinois "shall" issue a permit. As in, unless there's an exception -- like someone fails a background check -- permits must be granted to anyone who wants to carry a gun.

Gun-control advocates want more restrictions, and a law that says only that the state "may" issue permits.

That's the law in New York, where in order to get a concealed-carry permit, applicants have to demonstrate a special need. A federal court said that's OK, and that's where the matter will rest -- the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review that decision.

Lisa Madigan says Illinois lawmakers should take note.

"The legislature now can look up and say a 'may-issue' statute is something that at this point is constitutional." -Attorney General Lisa Madigan

Madigan says she has not yet decided whether to appeal the court  ruling that requires Illinois to have a concealed carry law.

The clock is still ticking toward an early-June deadline. Madigan says if legislators and Gov. Pat Quinn can reach a compromise, they should.

Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey contributed to this report.