Illinois GOP Congressman Pushes For Federal Concealed Carry Law

WASHINGTON (CBS) — Members of the Republican Congressional delegation in Illinois hope to get around state lawmakers’ unwillingness to pass concealed carry legislation, by means of federal law.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Alex Degman reports, downstate U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson (R-Ill.) this week introduced the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, HR 3543, which would permit anyone who obtains a permit to carry a concealed weapon in another state to carry weapons legally in Illinois.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Alex Degman reports

In a news release on his Web site, Johnson characterizes carrying concealed weapons as a “constitutional right” that should be guaranteed to all citizens, saying “the Second Amendment could not be more clear on this issue.”

He also pointed out that Illinois is the only state that does not have some kind of law on the books permitting concealed carry.

“Overturning this prohibition in Illinois is long-overdue,” Johnson said on his Web site. “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.”

Johnson blames Cook County for the fact that concealed carry still is not permitted in Illinois.

“This is not acceptable,” he writes.

But Colleen Daley, executive director of the Illinois Council against Handgun Violence, says such a measure would strip Illinois of its right to protect its citizens.

“You’ve got states like Arizona and Florida where you essentially mail in an application for a concealed carry permit,” she said. “You want people like that coming into our state, with no laws to protect them?”

But the National Rifle Association supports the measure. It says the constitutional right to keep and bear arms does not end at state lines, and the so-called “doom and gloom” predictions from anti-gun groups haven’t panned out.

“We’ve heard this same howling hysterics from the gun ban groups 20 years ago when the right to carry movement started gaining momentum,” said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam,. “They predicted gun fights at the OK Corral at high noon, and none of those predictions have come to pass.”

HR 3543 is similar to another measure, HR 822, which passed the House but hasn’t been heard in the Senate. The difference here, say supporters, is Illinois residents would be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in their home state.

  • Jim hamilton

    One thing Chicago needs to realize is if they would pass an Illinois law giving the right to carry then Illinois legislatures could be the ones to determine the training and policies required for the Illinois permit. Being stuborn and forcing this way around it they will be giving up that involvement provided federal law does the right thing here and defends our rights.

    • Jim Hamilton

      As for Coleen Daley If a person carrys a gun Illinois still has the right and moral obligation to protect that citizen. To say it strips Illinois of the right to protect its citizens what the hell does conceal carry have to do with that?

      Besides how well did Illinois protect it citizens lets see

      Chicago, IL, September 21, 2011—The Greater Chicago Food Depository released a study today providing first-ever community-by-community details in Cook County of the number of individuals who are food insecure. Data was gathered for all of Chicago’s 77 community areas and 119 Cook County suburbs. The new findings point to strong links between unemployment and food insecurity and to high concentrations in communities on the West and Southwest Sides of Chicago and in several Cook County suburbs. The study is based on Food Insecurity in the United States 2009, compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

      Hunger in America 2010: This landmark new study reveals an unprecedented number in Chicago and Cook County seeking emergency food assistance.

      Running on Empty: Nutritional Access for Children in Cook County: Identification of Gaps in Meals, Nutrition, and Food Delivery Systems in Cook County.

      The city violent crime rate for Chicago in 2009 was higher than the national violent crime rate average by 162.11% and the city property crime rate in Chicago was higher than the national property crime rate average by 39.94%.

      In 2009 the city violent crime rate in Chicago was higher than the violent crime rate in Illinois by 126.41% and the city property crime rate in Chicago was higher than the property crime rate in Illinois by 55.23%


  • Roberta Waker

    Email your federal representatives to show support for this bill. Maybe, just maybe, we can get it passed and Illinoisans can protect themselves legally. Conceal carry is long overdue in this backwards, crime ridden state.

    • Jim Hamilton

      My e mail fingers have been working over time

  • GiveMeBackMyBullets

    Unfortunately, this resolution hasn’t a snowballs chance in Hades. What it may do however, is to prod a vote or three towards the passage of HB148 by those who may have been on the fence during the last vote in May, where passage with a super majority was nearly attained in the Illinois General Assembly.

    The State of Illinois needs to act on this. The time is now.

  • Larry Polte

    Coleen Daley is a moron. EVERY statistic shows crime has gone down in CCW states. Illinois is now the only state where the criminal’s are better protected than it’s citizens. It’s a travesty that the democrats who control this state can steal our money with all their taxes but won’t allow us our constitutional right to defend ourselves………

    • Adam

      That is probably why they don’t want Illinois residents to have firearms. Maybe they’re afraid the extent of their corruption will become public knowledge and they fear an uprising!

  • Jim Hamilton

    Coleen thinks it’s wrong to take away the states rights to protect us but she could care less about our right to protect us the second amendment is about the peoples rights, not the states rights.

  • PG

    Coleen Daleys response is typical of an Illinois politician, particularly when it comes to concern carry issues. It’s all about the state to them, not about the citizens and are common welfare and good.

    If she doesn’t like conceal carry, then fine, she doesn’t have to do it. However, she should leave those of us alone who wish to exercise this right in Illinois, and get out of the way.

  • John Q. Public

    Are there any liberals out there that explain the concept of keeping citizens safe by keeping them from defending themselves from armed criminals? As hard as I try to make any sense out of this concept, I just can’t. How is someone safer if they are not allowed to defend themselves?

  • Kenn

    What people seem to not realize, and this baffles me, is that initiating this law is not telling people it is ok to shoot each other. Criminals will carry guns whether it is legal in Illinois or not. Why should law abiding citizens be denied the ability to protect themselves from said criminals?

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