Illinois’ Concealed Carry Bill Making Progress

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) – The biggest push ever in Illinois for concealed carry permits is making progress, says the bill’s sponsor.

State Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) says he’s working on an amendment that would exempt at least one type of location from allowing concealed guns.

“They’re working it out with the NRA and the speaker’s office, but I believe it’s to exempt college campuses, which a lot of the university presidents want that, and I understand,” said Phelps.  “So we’re trying to work out with everybody.”

Meanwhile, opponents have been mounting arguments against the measure.  “Why are we even considering a bill that the State Police has said on the record, it could put loaded guns in the hands of mentally ill persons, allowing them to carry them in most public places?” said State Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago).

Williams was citing reports that pointed to lapses in data reporting to and from State Police and the Department of Human Services pertaining to the mentally ill in Illinois.  The State Police use the information to determine who can get gun permits, also known as FOID cards.

Phelps says the bill should be called for a vote in the House in the next few weeks.  In early April he said he was three to four votes shy of the necessary 71 votes.  Not much has changed since then.

The biggest opponents of the legislation are from Chicago and the suburbs. Phelps says despite his best efforts, no one in Chicago or Cook County will meet with him to discuss the bill. “They still won’t meet with us.  I wish they’d sit down with us.  I think we could get this done,” he said.

Copyright Illinois Radio Network

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  • Mike

    Illinois needs money.. the permit fee alone for concealed and carry permits would generate Millions of Dollars to the State Of Illinois. its a no brainier and the law abiding citizens of Illinois like the other states in the USA will be able to protect them self’s and there family’s. its working all over in the USA now its time for Illinois to get with a plan that actually helps the law abiding citizen.

  • Doug

    I totally agree.The people who are going to be getting the permits are the law abiding citizens. Criminals are going to carry a gun law or not. They don’t care about anyone else but themselves. They know they can get away with robbing a liquor store, mugging an elderly woman, or trying to rape a woman on her way home from work or school, without the worry of said victim to draw down on them. You introduce a carry law, then maybe these knuckleheads will think twice about the crime they are giving thought to committing..

  • Tim

    Any lawmaker that votes against (or vetoes in Quinn’s case) right to carry legislation in Illinois, but voted to repeal the death penalty will be showing all of us that anti-gunners like Mike Madigan care more about the “rights” of convicted murderers on death row than they care about the rights of unarmed victims of the past, present, and future. The word “bear” in its’ verb form is defined the same today as it was in 1787. Anti-gunners need to: 1. read the Constitution, 2. learn how to use a dictionary!, and 3. get over it, you lose!

  • Jakobi

    This is a Constitutional RIGHT that IL has refused to recognize. The problem needs to be fixed now or the state is going to find itself defending major lawsuits. SCOTUS has already reinforced the right of the individual to keep and bear arms…why does IL think that it can slap us in the face by ignoring this?

  • Greg Eck

    Ann Williams needs to get her facts straight….

    Right now a person can purchase a handgun using a FOID card. If Ms Williams is concerned about THAT concern she should put her time into the FOID system, not the concealed carry bill (and for the record the FOID system is working fine). For the record Ms Williams has no legislation pending to correct her perceived issue with the FOID system so she must be ok with it.

    I guess what she is saying is that she is ok with mentally ill people having handguns, just as long as they just use them at home.

    • Jennifer

      I agree with you 100%. Its clear Ann Williams doesn’t understand the laws she is voting on. Pretty embarrassing if you ask me.

  • Bob

    Won’t Quinn just veto the bill if it does pass? I mean, can we really win here???

    • Nick

      He will veto the bill, but the Illinois state legislature claims to have enough votes to overrule his veto.

      I can’t wait for this to go through. Finally, Illinois!

  • sirmatthew

    I’m so glad Phelps “understands” the need for University Presidents to be exempt from “allowing” citizens to exercise their fundamental right. Try understanding the 2A for a change!!

    One of the requirements each applicant must fulfill is to sign away ALL rights to privacy under state and federal law. Those laws exist for a reason, which is to protect citizens. Why should a citizen have to sign away ALL of those rights for any reason, much less simply to acquire a different right?

    If this bill is putting millions of dollars into the hands of the police then might that be a clue it’s too expensive? How is it a FOID card only costs $10 but a carry permit issued by the same agency costs ten times more? Hello?! Anyone? Bueller?

    Even with a $150 Hi-Point 9mm, one of the cheapest pistols available from a dealer, acquiring RTC through HB0148 will cost a minimum of $415 by the time you figure in all related costs and fees noted in the bill. (This does not include transportation, baby sitting fees incurred by single parents, and other varying expenses which are unique to each individual.) With an average-priced pistol such as a $350 Ruger LCP the average applicant will pay out $615. Double that to $1230 for a married couple who both want the permit or simply choose which partner will continue being defenseless. Keeping it expensive is a not-so-nice way to exclude the poor, single parents, adult students, minimum wage workers, retirees living on fixed incomes and the disabled; don’t you think? Let’s not forget the 10% of our population who are unemployed, a greater percentage of whom are minorities and people of color.

    Those who can’t afford this bill aren’t buying into the hype about how wonderful it is. But, consider this, if this bill fails then those who wrote it will continue to make even more compromises to draft an even more restrictive bill which benefits even fewer people while being more favorable to even more lawmakers next time around. So long as the authors themselves get their right to carry the world will be a better place, right?





  • B

    The foid card system violates the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens of IL. I already have the permission why do I have to 1) pay $10 for this right Im born with? 2) ask my government for the right I already have? If its such a great idea why are we the only state to have this system? I know! Chicago! People are so quick to give up there rights for the illusion of a safer world. If criminals started robbing people with kitchen forks the state of IL would ban them or make it difficult to own one. We have the right to defend ourselves from danger i.e criminals, government (same thing in IL) with any means afforded by the constitution. “Anyone who trades security for liberty deserves neither” Ben Franklin

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