9 months, 3 weeks ago by Jim Dewey
State. Rep. Jil Tracy sits on the committee, which meets Tuesday in Springfield and Friday in Chicago
The Illinois House Judiciary committee will be looking at the issue of concealed carry this week.
The first House Judiciary Committee hearing will be held Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 12 p.m. in Room 114 of the State Capitol in Springfield. A second hearing will take place Friday, Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. in the sixth floor committee room of the Michael A. Bilandic Building in Chicago. Advocates concerned with all aspects of the firearms issue will be invited to testify.
State Representative Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) sits on the committee and says she very much wants to be proactive on the issue of concealed carry. Tracy noted that the 7th circuit court of appeals says Illinois ban on concealed carry is illegal.
“A lot of people would like to see it done correctly, that we put a good bill out there," she said. "We had some in the past and this is just pretty much similar one the we’ve had in the past that kind of mirrors what they’ve done in Florida and some other states successfully.”
The bill under consideration requires licensing and training for anyone with a concealed carry permit.
“With the idea being that we want to be public safety aware, but yet we believe that we need to get Illinois on board with all the other states in the nation that have a form of concealed carry and that abide by the second amendment,” Tracy said.
Tracy says the debate will be made more difficult by discussing of a ban on assault weapons and the definition of assault weapons. She says that discussion must be very careful very respectful of the second amendment.
On the subject of gun control, Tracy says that she believes that most people understand that if we enforce the laws we have “we won’t have the extreme acts of violence that we have.”
She says we need to address the mental health issues and the violence in the neighborhoods with gangs, and the like.
“Getting to the root of why those things happen will be the true root of the problem rather than just saying let’s ban guns,” she said.
Tracy admits that money is a concern and that lawmakers have “starved” mental health services. But, she says if we want to stop the violence, that mental health has to become a new priority.
Another factor that she says needs to be addressed is violent video games. She says those games and violent movies do have ratings but the entertainment industry has to bear its own burden of trying to answer some of the problems with violence and the mass shootings and mental health issues and “recognize that the gun of the method of killing is not really where the primary focus needs to be.”
Among the ideas being floated is tax on rentals of violent video games and movies. Proceeds from that tax would be set aside for mental health. Tracy says she does not favor any new taxes but says that might be a fair way to address the issue. She says “violent videos and movies have played a major role in some of this.”
Another idea that has been tossed around is a tax on bullets and/or guns. Tracy says she is less in favor of that connection “because anybody that trap shoots knows that you use a lot of bullets for that kind of thing and that’s not a violent thing whatsoever.”
She said she is trying to go more “toward the violence issue rather than just the guns, separating the means of the violence and getting toward why somebody’s violent.”