Another Concealed Carry Bill Passes Out Of State House Committee

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — As it does every year, a concealed carry bill surfaced in a state House committee and passed – but its future is, again, uncertain.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Alex Degman reports, state Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) is again leading the charge as he has for years. His measure would allow Illinois residents with the proper training and permits to carry a concealed firearm.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Alex Degman reports

The arguments are the same – proponents say guns are needed for protection, opponents say more guns equal more violence. Phelps responded to that by saying people only need to look around.

“We’re the only state,” he says. “If it was so bad why are there no other states trying to repeal this? It works. Crime has gone down everywhere this has gone into effect. So why are we the only ones?”

A popular theory advanced by former University of Chicago research fellow John Lott argues that violent crime will go down if more people possess guns, since violent criminals will be deterred by the threat of an armed victim.

But when it comes to the proposed Illinois law, a point of contention this year is whether colleges and universities can ban them on campus.

“The presidents of the colleges have said they don’t want any form of concealed carry on their campuses. So that’s fine, but if they disarm that person that has a permit, and something happens like at Northern Illinois with the shooting, then they’re going to get the liability,” he says.

Phelps says the measure that easily passed out of the Agriculture and Conservation committee is not the final version, and he’ll try to find common ground with the universities.

The bill would preempt local ordinances in home-rule communities such as Chicago, which means it needs 71 votes to pass. Last year’s bill got 65, and Phelps is confident he has picked up a few more since last year.

Separate from the state legislation, a gun rights group is trying to legalize concealed carry in Illinois by way of the judicial system.

The Second Amendment Foundation says not allowed to concealed carry is like asking citizens to “check our constitutional rights at the front door.”

Last month, a federal judge in Springfield ruled against the Second Amendment Foundation. U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough ruled Monday that the Second Amendment allows citizens to protect themselves in their homes, but not on the street.

The group is now appealing the decision to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Meanwhile, a downstate Republican Congressman has been pushing for a federal law that would guarantee the right to carry concealed weapons nationwide.

In December, downstate U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson (R-Ill.) 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.

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.”

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

  • Armed Chicagoan

    Not only Crook County, but Mike Madigan and The former Lord High Mayor of Chicago, the ‘Honorable’ Richard Daley single handedly keep any 2nd Amendment Bill from going anywhere.

  • john

    College campus’ are not the real world. As a kid in Chicago guns were available in hardware stores and hobby shops. Only about a third of the murders that occur today in the city… also about one million more people back then. Unheard of on college campuses; murder that is. Now with left wing commie Democrats in charge of the colleges and unviersities murder is an issue. Solve this by getting rid of the Lefties and allowing guns. it is in fact the law of the land.

  • g-man

    That stupid judge says I can only protect myself in my home but not on the street Stupid liberal thing to say

    • THEE Yard Ape

      @g-man – well said!!!!

  • non

    Why can cops carry guns to protect themselves, yet Joe Blow can’t?

    • Roberta Waker

      @non. How can we give police the authority to carry guns when we can’t? Seems a little contradictory and discriminatory, doesn’t it. I agree with you.

  • John

    The second amendment does not say the right to keep and bear arms in the home. These judges need to take a class on what the constitution means. Illinois, the only state where criminals carry guns, but law abiding citizens can’t. No wonder the crime rate is so high. Criminals know they can cause bodily harm and murder law abiding citizens while the cops are at the donut shop.

  • Just the Average Joe

    The people of IL continue to be victims of choice. These thugs are not worried about jail, and short of murder they will likely be released shortly after their crimes. It is past time for concealed carry, and the public needs to start burying these thugs, not incarcerating them.

  • chiseled v

    Lets see, 6 or7 shot the last couple of days,plus one policeman. All foid card carrying registered in Chicongo shooters i’m sure

  • chiseled v

    Remember this useless, Liberal agenda, Constitutional revisionist Judges name, for the next time She comes up for retention. Vote NO for her retention. Time to make these idiots responsible for stepping on Constitutional rights.

  • Will Carry

    What part of “shall not be infringed (period)” does Chicago not understand?

    I can think of only one reason why politicians would leave good citizens vulnerable to Disciples, Latin Kings, Folk, etc. Somebody’s paying somebody.

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