Concealed Carry Proposal Heads To Illinois House


Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, (center) presents his concealed carry legislation during a House Judiciary committee meeting on May 23, 2013. Phelps was joined by Lt. Darrin Clark (far left) of the Illinois State Police and Kevin Casey (far right) of the Illinois Department of Human Services. (Chris Slaby/WUIS)

Illinois legislators continue to struggle with finding a concealed carry proposal that appeases those on both sides of the gun debate.

But the sponsor of the latest plan said he expects it to pass it through the House on Friday, after getting committee approval Thursday morning.

Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, last tried passing a measure backed by the National Rifle Association.

While that failed, Phelps has a new plan.

Phelps said for the first time, he has a measure he considers “pro-gun” that doesn’t have the support of organizations like the NRA.

Gun groups might be keeping quiet so they don’t scare away lawmakers who favor stricter gun control.

Phelps said several legislators who voted against his last attempt at concealed carry are voicing support this time around.

PHELPS: “Right now we’re at the mercy of the bad guys. I’m trying to let the good guys have the guns but we want to have some parameters of what to expect from them in this law.”

Those parameters include 16 hours of training for anyone who wants a concealed carry permit. Phelps said that would be the most in the country.

It would cost applicants $150 to get a permit.

While that would allow people to carry guns in public, they still would not be allowed in places like schools, sports arenas, and street festivals.

That’s not strict enough for opponents, who don’t like a provision that would wipe out local gun rules, such as Cook County’s assault weapons ban.

—Chris Slaby

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