Friday, December 09, 2011

Federal bill would allow concealed carry in Illinois

By Jamey Dunn

After state legislation to allow concealed carry of guns in Illinois was shot down, some Illinois lawmakers are working at the federal level to open the door to concealed carry in the state.

U.S. Rep. Timothy Johnson is sponsoring a bill that would allow individuals who hold concealed carry licenses from other states to carry firearms in Illinois. “Overturning this prohibition in Illinois is long-overdue,” Rep. Johnson said. “Law-abiding citizens deserve the right to protect themselves. Over 100 years of Supreme Court rulings and the 14th Amendment guarantee that no state can deny the rights and privileges of any citizen. The Second Amendment could not be more clear on this issue. Forty-nine other states understand this and have reasonable policies in place to ensure that only law-abiding people willing to go through authorized safety training are permitted this right. The only reason Illinois is the exception is Cook County. This is not acceptable,” Johnson said in a written statement.

State Rep. Brandon Phelps, a sponsor of legislation that would allow concealed carry in Illinois, said he supports Johnson’s bill.  Phelps' bill to legalize concealed carry failed in the Illinois House earlier this year. He said Illinois residents currently hold licenses for concealed carry in other states, and those licenses should apply here. Illinois is the only state in the union that does not allow some form of concealed carry after Wisconsin legalized concealed carry earlier this year.

Phelps, a Harrisburg Democrat, said he is about “five or six” votes short of the supermajority he would need to pass his bill. Because the bill would overrule home rule authority, it requires more than a simple majority. He said if Illinois would allow concealed carry, as opposed to accepting licenses from out of state, it would mean more revenue in the form of fees associated with licensing. “This can bring in a lot of money, people don’t realize that.”

Phelps thinks it is “just a matter of time.” Before some form of legal concealed carry happens in Illinois. He points to several pending court cases on the issues. “If it goes through the courts…it will be wide open.” He said his bill is preferable, because it contains restrictions on eligibility and where weapons can be carried. He said if Johnsons’ bill becomes law,  he would back a state plan that would add some restrictions.

“Forty other state’s are not wrong, I believe, and it’s not the Wild West anywhere else,” Phelps said.

However, opponents say that concealed carry would not make the state a safer place. “Public safety has been and continues to be one of Gov. [Pat] Quinn’s top priorities, which is why he is opposed to allowing people to carry loaded, concealed handguns in public places, such as college campuses, parks, malls and our city streets,” said a written statement from Quinn’s office. Quinn spoke out against Phelps' bill during the regular legislative session. He has vowed to veto any concealed carry legislation that comes to his desk. “We must ensure the safety of our neighborhoods and allowing concealed carry does not advance that goal. Our streets need to be safer, and a concealed carry law would put first responders and the public at risk by allowing more weapons – hidden weapons – in public places. Guns must not fall into the wrong hands and our current regulatory system is antiquated – there are large gaps when it comes to identifying individuals who should be prohibited from carrying weapons. We cannot allow those individuals to carry loaded, hidden weapons.”


Anonymous said...

So, how is "gun control" working with all of the gun shots ringing out in the middle of the day....late at night, in the afternoon, in the evening...???? An armed society is a polite society. If I knew that people were able to carry firearms, I don't know that I'd be willing to threaten people as willingly.(muggings, robberies, car jackings, etc) The 2nd Amendment is quite clear and Illinois is in OBVIOUS violation. If I lived in Illinois, I'd be looking to my elected officials demanding an answer as to how this is NOT a violation of the bill of rights.

Anonymous said...

Many of the laws in Illiinois are so wrong. There is someone killed every day because someone that is not allowed to carry a weapon is shooting at someone that might be a decent citizen, If this citizen could be carrying his gun, it will be a different story but it is the same always Cops always get there " once the crime was commited, they usually investigate the crime after it happens" I dont want to carry a gun to kill people I Want to carry a gun to keep from being killed.

Anonymous said...

I love the Gov.'s logic that first responders would be put at risk by concealed carry. Doesn't he realize this isn't an issue in 49 other states? Maybe Illinois has much more evil people than the other states. Remember how Mayor Daley predicted "wild west" scenes in Chicago when the Supreme Court forced the city to allow handguns? Didn't happen. Most of the "If we allow guns..... will happen" are just hysterical hand wringing. We will get concealed carry in Illinois, even if Czar Madigan doesn't want it.

Anonymous said...

I can not understand where our leaders get there information to make these statements but the fedral crime counts are all down sence all these outher states started to allow concealed carry. Also I worked in a max prison in the state of Illinois for 30 years and one thing that I can tell you is that criminals don't care about the laws we have to live by, thats why they are criminals. We only handicap the law abiding people from protecting themselfs. I am also a first responder and a Trap shooting team coach for young school kids and I think there is a lot of good that can come from firearms when used in the right way by a well trained person, and not theat to us as first responders when owned by a lawabiding people.

Marty said...

There has not been a huge increase in violent crime rates in other states who have loosened their concealed carry laws. If the citizens of Illinois want to be able to legally carry to protect themselves then the state should change its laws.

Bert said...

Just more proof how out of touch or non caring of the public, Quinn is.
" Guns must not fall into the wrong hands and our current regulatory system is antiquated – there are large gaps when it comes to identifying individuals who should be prohibited from carrying weapons. We cannot allow those individuals to carry loaded, hidden weapons.”
Tell that to the parents of the driveby victims and kids caught in the crossfire, shot dead.
Are they shot by trained and permitted gun carriers?

Anonymous said...

Does Quinn really think that by making more unconstutional laws that the criminals and gang members will abide by them?The only ones that it effects is the law abiding ones. We all need to remember this when he's up for reelection,he needs to remember that he works for us and when you don't listen to the boss.........your FIRED!!!!