House Committee OKs Concealed Carry Proposal

UPDATED 03/09/11 9:04 a.m.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — A proposal to allow Illinois residents to carry concealed weapons has made it out of House committee in Springfield on Tuesday and was headed for a full House vote.

As CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports, the House Agriculture Committee, a panel dominated by downstate pro-gun rights lawmakers, voted 12-2 Tuesday in favor of allowing local county sheriffs to issue concealed carry permits to people 21 and over who have gone through training courses.

Such proposals have always been controversial and stirred up a lot of emotion at the state capitol when discussed before. And for it or against it, many people said they believe this time around, the concealed carry movement might have some legs in Springfield.

But others have said it will have a difficult time passing in the full House, which is controlled by Democrats, many of whom are from the Chicago area.

A year after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the city of Chicago’s handgun ban, handing a major victory to gun rights advocates, those groups want to take gun ownership a step further in Illinois.

The proposal that passed through committee on Tuesday would allow legal licensed gun owners to carry a weapon outside of their home.

Gun shop owner Don Mastrianni said he believes a concealed weapons are fine, “if you know how to use it and you’re doing it to protect yourself.”

Mastrianni has owned Illinois Gun Works in Elmwood Park for nine years. He said he recognizes concealed carry is a hot trigger issue and he said his support isn’t motivated by the bottom line.

“By no means do I think everybody should have a gun,” he said.

But those testifying in favor of the bill on Tuesday took a more passionate view.

Valinda Rowe said she became a concealed carry advocate after her family was terrorized by a mentally disturbed stalker.

Asked what she would have done had she been able to carry a gun, Rowe said, “I think I wouldn’t have been terrified to leave my own home to go to work. I wouldn’t have been terrified every time I went out to the store.”

But opponents of concealed carry are still very loud and very vocal.

Rev. Michael Pfleger has long sought stricter gun laws in Illinois, saying he’s convinced an armed population would only mean more violence.

“Do I want to wonder who’s got a gun on them and who doesn’t?” he said, “particularly today, where we see guns being used in so much, just (as the) first line of offense.”

Meanwhile, the City of Chicago is still holding firm on its position against conceal and carry legislation.

Samantha Fields of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s office said the city is standing by the ordinance it implemented last year to allow residents to have handguns in their homes.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Alex Degman reports

The ordinance replaced a citywide ban on handgun ownership that dated back to 1982, but was rendered unenforceable by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the McDonald v. Chicago case.

“The Second Amendment only protects a right to possess a firearm in the home for self-defense, and that wide variety of gun laws are constitutionally permissible,” Fields said.

The ordinance enacted last year limits gun purchases to one per month, bans gun shops in city limits and prohibits gun owners from stepping outside their homes, even onto their porches or garages.

A concealed carry proposal got House committee approval in 2009 but it was never called for a floor vote.

  • Mr. Mars

    FACT: Right to carry states have fewer gun crimes. Why isn’t this mentioned by the opponents of this issue. Simple, it kills their argument.

  • stephen

    Mr. Mars: you hit the nail on the heat.

  • Roberta Waker

    Fact: There are also more ILLEGALS in Texas than Illinois. Illegals bring in drugs, gangs and are involved in more shootings. While you can’t always believe statistics, I would prefer to carry a concealed weapon if I was properly trained and could justify carrying one.

  • Joel

    PHather Phleger Says: “Do i want to wonder who’s got a gun on them and who doesn’t?”
    Say: PHather, do you know who has a gun now?
    What kind of law will it take, for someone like that, to give up their illegal guns?
    You stupid… You only restrict the law abiding!!!, and you sucker! You know exactly what you do!!!!!!!!

    • kat

      I agree 110%. the ONLY ones affected are law abiding citizens, last time I checked the thugs don’t care what the law states.

  • Joel

    Your argument is simply flawed!

  • swizzle

    right to carry states DO NOT have less gun crime, lmao.

    • emilio

      Conceal Carry states have significantly lower crime rates across the board! That is a fact.

    • Joel

      you can “laugh your ass off” all you want, but statistics do not back up your argument!!!

      • NWA

        The fact: there is no quantifiable study that proves or disproves anyone’s claim pro or con that concealed gun laws have any effect on crime.

        So, this comes down to theory. Theoretically you feel safer carrying a hand gun.


  • phillmarines

    Illinois politicians on down to aldermen have the some type of extra protection against thugs.Aldermen have the nerve to have conceal and carry for themselves onlly ? Wake up voters ! we keep putting the same self serving know it alls in office
    who think they are better than the people they are supposed to serve!

  • Mau

    You are all missing the point. The victims of more widespread gun carrying are not just criminals and their targets, but victims of road rage, teens who are
    contemplating suicide,, children who play or experiment with adult weapons in the hous or car, and the innocents killed and maimed in their own yards, homes,etc. by drive-by shootings, whether they’ve ever held a gun or not.

    • mark

      We lose more people to vehicle accidents every year than all the “causes” you listed. Criminals do drive-by shootings, not law-abiding citizens defending their lives and property. Accidental gun deaths have FALLEN for all the years other states had concealed carry. Demonizing guns is NOT the answer, nor is disarming citizens. Police cannot be everywhere, nor are they required to protect individuals, per the U.S. Supreme Court. So how are you going to stop that robber, rapist, or carjacker? Polite words, or the most appropriate tool?

  • Joe Patroni

    Excellent to rid ourselves of bloated, costly govt. deficits. We could cut all courts, state’s attorneys, judges, clerks and police. Reduce spending. No new taaxes. I can defend myself and if I need something or if someone wrongs me me, I got my gun Let us respolbe our own conflicts.

    • Joel

      Mau and Joe,
      You are both doing a “Knee jerk reaction”, back up your comments with hard facts that can be confirmed!

  • Joel

    While you’re at it, let’s get rid of all knives ( including those in the kitchen), baseball bats, rocks, and (sticks & stones). Oh, also cars (how many have died by those “Evil” things), and we will all live happily ever after!

    • NWA

      Fact: in the history of mankind, more people have died of bullets from gun fire than from any of those diabolical ways you’ve described in your post. Not to mention the countless that have been wounded.


    • Brian

      I’m with you Joel. Maybe we should have hammer control to.

  • Joel

    Also Joe,
    Relax, take a deep breath… Did you mean to spell it (Resolve)??? Personally, I would never think to resolve my conflicts that way! Maybe that is why some people (YOU!) should never be allowed to have a gun???

  • Don't Own One

    I’ll listen to anything but the antis propaganda is just too much.

  • Skorps

    This is LONG overdue in Illinois. It’s about time rights were PROTECTED, rather than trampled on by those whom WE pay to represent us in government.

  • Steve H

    All you sos liberal ppl will wish you had a conceal carry weapon when these terrorist start killing everyone in this City & State. raping our women stealing our food n money. Maybe goof ball Pfleger & Jackson will save you all. As for me I will conceal carry with or without ccc law. All the punks carry so why shouldn’t everyone else.

  • Jerry O Henderson

    I have carried a concealed weapon permit issued by Indiana State Police,for 4 years,Ihave never had to pull my weapon one time.But if the case arises,I am protected.Remember one thing,I do not need the,Police after the fact and a Crime has been committed.I do not need fifty police officers standing around shaking their head,and me or my family member or more hsa been violated,catching the offenders maybe?

  • Honor Student

    Remember…when SECONDS count…the police are MINUTES away! Amazing to see comments against this proposal. Don’t you think YOU are smart enough to know when to protect yourself with lethal force?! So unless YOU are committing crimes against others, you have nothing to worry about. Law-abiding people are not suddenly going to go berserk and start shooting people without justification.

  • Ruben Dalys

    Chicago has a GANG violence problem not GUN violence problem

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  • Greybeard

    48 of the 50 states already have some form of concealed carry, with Wisconsin planning to pass concealed carry in this year’s legislative session. That would leave Illinois as the ONLY state in the Union without concealed carry. While the statistics can be argued about the effect of concealed carry on crime, one aspect cannot be argued. Concealed carry has proven NOT TO BE A PROBLEM in the 48 states that allow concealed carry. The experience of those states proves that the dire predictions of “wild west” scenarios simply did not materialize. People who are willing to jump through the hoops to get “permission” to exercise their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms as a group are among the most law-abiding in the country. The people that you are worried about, the ones that would shoot someone over road rage, etc, are the ones who are ALREADY carrying concealed, and they will NEVER even apply for a permit!

  • hipshotpercusion

    I was born and raised in The PR of IL. I have held a Florida CCW for years. Last year I moved here to FL and now i carry all the time. We have a drug problem down here and the petty crime associated with it but, we don’t have nearly the violent crime you have in IL. and we have had shall issue since 1987. It’s time the good people of IL. jumped up and banged the heads(figuratively) of your so called leaders and make them see the light. Concealed carry WORK! Get some Stones and join the rest of the free people in this great Republic.

  • Doug


    Fact: in the history of mankind, more people have died of bullets from gun fire than from any of those diabolical ways you’ve described in your post. Not to mention the countless that have been wounded”

    Wrong! More people have died over the long course of history from injuries inflicted by edged weapons than by firearms. Look at the casualty lists for Roman and Persian wars for example.

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