10 months, 1 week ago by Bob Gough
Also video of Lt. Gov. Simon's new gun committee
From Illinois Issues:
Rep. Brandon Phelps introduced a concealed-carry bill today (Tuesday) and says he hopes to pass legislation before a court-imposed deadline requires the state to allow residents to carry firearms in public.
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in December ruled the state’s ban on concealed-carry unconstitutional and gave the General Assembly 180 days to pass carry legislation. The court’s opinion said lawmakers have the right to put restrictions on carry, such as requiring training for a license and limiting the places that guns are allowed. The decision came from a panel of three judges, but Attorney General Lisa Madigan has asked the full court, 10 judges, to reconsider the case. So far, however, the 180-day deadline continues to stand. Phelps and others believe that if legislators do not get something passed by that deadline, there will be no restrictions on carrying firearms in the state. “Here’s the deal: The clock is still ticking,” Phelps said. “If I was an anti-gun group, I would want to hurry up and get something passed.”
Phelps, who has sponsored several versions of a concealed-carry bill throughout the years, said he introduced a bill this session because he wants to negotiate in good faith. “We filed a bill to show people that we do mean what we say about working on this issue.” Phelps, a Harrisburg Democrat, said his new legislation, House Bill 997, is similar to House Bill 48, which failed to get the needed support to pass in the House in the spring of 2011. “Now’s not the time to reinvent the wheel,” he said.
Under the new proposal, applicants must be 21 years old and hold a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. They would be required to undergo four hours of training on topics including: “basic principles of marksmanship, care and cleaning of handguns and laws relating to the justifiable use of force.” They would also have to pass a live fire exercise with a certified instructor. A database of applicant information would be accessible to law enforcement officials. Statistical information about licenses issued by demographics, such as race, age gender or geographic location, would be available to the public. However, information about specific applicants would be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.