Progress On Possible Concealed Carry Compromise

Operatives on both sides of the gun debate say they’re increasingly confident the General Assembly can pass concealed carry legislation in the next few days.   Insiders say they came closer in talks Wednesday morning.

There’s a divide over how far Illinois should go as it seeks to comply with a court order to pass a concealed carry law.

The House passed legislation that Senators have rejected as going too far on the side of gun rights’ advocates.

Senator Kwame Raoul, a Chicago Democrat, says conversations have “advanced.”

There’s not yet consensus, but he says they’re coming to an understanding regarding two important issues, “that I think will get us to the, to the finish line on this.”

Issue one – the House plan throws out all local rules regulating guns, like Cook County’s ban on assault weapons. Gun owners don’t want a patchwork of restrictions that vary from city to city. A compromise plan may set a statewide standard for concealed carry, but otherwise give municipalities leeway.

Issue two – alcohol and guns. The House version would let people bring weapons to bars and restaurants, as long as half their sales come from food, which gun control advocates say is too lenient.

“There may not be consensus on how to protect against … those who … may consumer alcohol and carry guns,” Raoul says. “I think there’s agreement that we do have the desire to protect against that. So both sides realize we don’t want drunk people carrying guns.”

A gun industry insider says a compromise may leave that standard in place, but toughen penalties for breaking the law.

-Amanda Vinicky

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