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Illinois’ Concealed Carry Bill Making Progress

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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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