VIDEO: Concealed carry second reading passes, but much work still needed on it
2 months, 3 weeks ago
Rep. Tracy says Chicago Democrats are "playing games"
State Rep. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) says the state is still a long way from having a workable concealed carry law.
"There were a lot of amendments that passed yesterday that I would not support in a concealed carry that are far too restrictive," Tracy said. "It was a movement in the right direction to get some form of bill. It will be interesting to see how the third reading and final bill play out. The restrictions I would consider were in Amendment 27 or in House Bill 997."
SPRINGFIELD — The Democratic-led majority in the Illinois House voted Tuesday in favor of banning guns in schools, casinos and on public transit during an unusual debate allowing lawmakers to vote piece by piece on where people should be allowed to carry concealed weapons.
Democrats said the hourslong action on the House floor was a way to test support for the various elements of a bill that lawmakers are expected to pass this spring to comply with a federal appeals court ruling against Illinois — the only state that hasn't legalized some form of concealed carry for citizens.
Republicans accused the Chicago-led majority of forcing GOP lawmakers to take controversial positions that could be used against them in their next campaign.
"This is a political stunt," said Rep. Dennis Reboletti, R-Elmhurst, a former prosecutor. "It demeans this process."
The perpetual fight over gun control in Springfield took on new meaning following a December federal appeals court order that calls for Illinois to legalize concealed carry by early June. At the same time, Democrats who run City Hall and the Statehouse are pushing for new gun penalties amid an unrelenting stream of Chicago shootings punctuated in January by the death of a South Side teen who had traveled to Washington with her school to participate in President Barack Obama's inauguration festivities.
House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, set aside a special order of business to allow debate and votes on more than a dozen concealed carry proposals. Madigan's action forced up-or-down votes on the long lineup of amendments to a Democratic bill rather than the typical approach of weeding them out in committee or behind closed doors, then tacking on a few changes in the full House.
The legislation that carries all the amendments was not called for a vote, leaving potential conflicts between the proposals that lawmakers may seek to reconcile before any House vote to send the bill to the Senate.
With Madigan, the state Democratic Party chairman, already picking up suburban seats in the last election, Republicans feared he was setting his sights on gaining even more ground rather than actually trying to address the concealed carry issue. Republicans questioned why Democrats were focusing on the gun issue now, in this fashion, rather than on Illinois' budget problems and $96.8 billion pension debt.See more at: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-madigan-state-house-gun-votes-20130226,0,1168117.story#sthash.4kJYzQGB.dpuf
From Illinois Watchdog: Illinois State Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, says Illinois is the last state to ok concealed carry. But Bost fears the process to get to a new law, has political designs.
Illinois state Rep. Jim Sacia, R-Pecatonica, uses a castration analogy during the debate over concealed carry in Illinois.
The Illinois House is scheduled to debate 27 amendments to the concealed carry law. Click here to see all of the amendments.
State Rep. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) said on Facebook: "Rep. Jim Sacia saying it all. Gun free zones are the gold mine for crack pots. We are debating amendments that are actually contained in HB 997. What a crazy game the Chicago Democrats are playing with our 2nd amendment."
More from Tracy at about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday. "Now on amendment # 10 of the 27 on the concealed carry bill. The debate has been going on all day. The amendments have all passed so far so if the Dems continue to have their way Illinoisans may be able to have concealed carry only in their own restrooms but nowhere else in this State. What a bunch of garbage trampling on our 2nd amendment."
From chicagotribune.com: Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said that Tuesday marks the "first of probably several sessions" on the topic. The goal is to give lawmakers the chance to "speak to and vote on" numerous gun issues, Brown said.
The motivations of the state's longest-serving speaker, however, are not always clear in a Capitol where he has largely controlled the agenda year after year. Hot-button legislation often is worked on behind closed doors among competing interest groups and heard at the committee level; then a single bill that lawmakers can take or leave is voted on. Madigan also sometimes will survey his Democratic members privately to see what they could support on issues such as tax increases.
Illinois is the only state in the nation that does not allow citizens to carry concealed weapons in some form. That, however, changed in December, when a three-member federal appeals court panel ruled Illinois should act within six months to allow citizens to carry guns in public.