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SB 836 Passes, Rep. Cassidy Finds Middle Ground On Guns Downstate

house chamberEarlier this month SB 836, a “fix” to the Illinois concealed carry law, passed both the House and Senate in Springfield. The bill is now awaiting Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature before it becomes law.

The bill establishes a more specific protocol governing law enforcement or public safety and traffic stops when a resident is armed with a concealed firearm. It allows one to move a concealable firearm from a concealed location to the trunk of a car or truck, and vice versa. The measure clarifies that obeying the laws contained within the Concealed Carry Act protects a resident from being cited or arrested for unlawful use of a weapon.

It will also clarify the definition of a “mental disability” as it pertains to persons seeking a concealed carry license as well as give emergency service personnel the right to ask someone to secure their weapon during the duration of the contact.

Yet even with bipartisan support of bill, the Illinois Coalition Against Handgun Violence still opposed to the measure, saying the negotiations were not “inclusive of both perspectives.” So it is no surprise that State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, who is adamantly anti-guns, was poised to vote “no” on the bill.

However, surprising everyone when it came to vote — Rep. Cassidy voted “yes.”

In a passionate speech before her colleagues downstate, Rep. Cassidy explained that she needed to find middle ground with those that were pro-gun. She said that even though there was nothing in the language supporting gun control, there was also nothing “deeply offensive” to someone who believes in gun control.

Rep. Cassidy released a statement saying, “I spent all night thinking about how we keep having the same fight over and over again: few issues are more polarized than gun rights vs. gun control and I am just as guilty of it as anyone on the other side of the argument. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, so I decided change had to start with me.”

Even though Rep. Cassidy strongly objects to the process leading up to the bill, there was actually nothing she found objectionable about the bill itself. Finding this middle ground could actually pave the way to better communication, she said.

“There is a common sense middle ground, one that respects the rights of those who are worthy of respect, punishes those deserving punishment and protects those we are all charged with protecting,” Rep. Cassidy said. “It’s time for all of us to find that place, so kids can be free to play in our parks without fear of random acts of violence.”

Hear Rep. Cassidy’s speech.

SB 836 contains the following changes:

Firearms Concealed Carry Act:

1. Limits the waiver of privacy rights regarding the concealed carry application to only those records pertinent to obtaining a concealed carry license.

2. Clarifies that if a concealed carry licensee presents their ICCL during a law enforcement investigative stop that it is presumed they are carrying a firearm.

3. Clarifies the definition of a “mental disability” as it pertains to persons seeking a concealed carry license.

4. Eliminates the requirement that a licensee unload his or her firearm when storing or retrieving a firearm from the trunk of their vehicle.

5. Provides that Emergency Service personnel may ask anyone lawfully carrying a firearm to secure the firearm for the duration of the contact.

6. Changes mental health reporting requirements.


7. Allows the use of a concealed carry license when purchasing firearms or ammunition.

8. Allows concealed carry licensees to possess firearms and ammunition without being in physical possession of their FOID card.

9. Changes the FOID Act to ensure that non-resident competitors may purchase firearms and ammunition at events held at the World Shooting Complex.

Criminal Code:

10. Eliminates a contradiction between Concealed Carry Act and the criminal definition of unlawful use of weapon.

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