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Illinois Lawmakers to Vote on Concealed Carry Bill

Dave Dahl, IRN
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Concealed Carry 1a, Getty Images, photo by Shelly Katz
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) – The stage is set for a vote on a concealed carry bill. And it’s one that the National Rifle Association does not like.

“This is not a carry bill,” said the NRA’s Illinois representative, Todd Vandermyde. He spoke to a Senate committee which passed the bill along party lines Thursday afternoon.

The bill gives state police latitude to approve or deny a request for a permit for a gun owner to carry a concealed weapon. Vandermyde said it’s too much latitude; he believes Illinois should be a “shall issue” state, in which most requests would be granted. Instead, he said the bill would give Illinois many ways to deny requests.

Sponsoring State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) said it is popular to refer to Illinois as the last holdout among the 50 states, as it is the only state with no concealed carry provision. But Raoul cautioned against believing that the other 49 states have identical rules.

In addition, the police chief in Chicago would have extra consideration to examine concealed-carry applicants. Raoul said that’s because Chicago has an especially dense population. State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) asked Raoul about other large cities in the state, such as Rockford, Aurora, and Peoria. Raoul said the mayors of those cities have not contacted him despite knowing since December the state would be working on a bill. When Raoul said the mayor of Chicago had been in contact with him, Righter said, “I have no doubt.”

A federal court threw out Illinois’ concealed-carry ban in December and gave the state until June 9 to come up with a law. The bill could get a full Senate vote Friday.

H.B. 183 passed the Senate Executive Committee.

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