Daley: Concealed carry would usurp local authority

April 6, 2011

(WBEZ/file)
Chicago's mayor says a state concealed carry law would "usurp" local authority.

Mayor Richard Daley says state lawmakers would be usurping Chicago's authority if they pass a concealed carry law in Illinois.

A measure in the Illinois House would allow people to carry guns in public, as long as they have training and a license. But Daley and mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel are urging lawmakers not to support the bill.

Daley said the General Assembly shouldn't impose concealed carry laws on municipalities.

"If they wanna carry 'em, and they can get permits, they can carry 'em in DuPage County," Daley said. "They wanna carry 'em in Lake County, McHenry, if they wanna carry 'em in Will County - in other words, if you're here, and you wanna go there and get your guns, you can carry 'em in those counties. You can go to the malls, everything. Just carry weapons out there."

Daley said state lawmakers would be promoting violence if they pass the bill.

State Representative Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, is sponsoring the concealed carry bill. He said every Illinoisan should have the right to carry a concealed weapon.

"The Supreme Court - the highest court in the land - has said cities like Chicago can not have a gun-free area, can not be a gun-free zone," Phelps said. "So we've got a Supreme Court ruling in our favor."

The U.S. Supreme Court all but struck down Chicago's gun ban in June 2010, but the ruling did not specifically address the constitutionality of concealed carry laws.

Phelps said he'd be willing to let some local governments opt out of his bill, and has tried to negotiate with the City of Chicago and Cook County, to no avail. He said the National Rifle Association, which is taking the lead in negotiations, wants an "all or nothing" concealed carry law.

Illinois is one of just two states that do not allow people to carry concealed weapons.