Springfield, Ill (IRN)-  A measure that would allow Illinois residents to carry concealed firearms in public places has passed a house committee – but it still has a long road ahead before it becomes law.  

The House Agriculture committee passed House Bill 148 by a convincing 12-2 vote. Lawmakers heard testimony for nearly 90 minutes from people on both sides of the issue.  

Samantha Fields, who’s the assistant to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, says a recent Supreme Court ruling outlawed Chicago’s outright handgun ban… but that doesn’t mean the city can’t regulate gun ownership at all.  Otis McDonald who was at the center of a Supreme Court case last year challenging Chicago’s outright handgun ban testified in support of the measure to allow citizens to conceal and carry.  He says his southwest side neighborhood is a “war zone,” and he should be allowed to protect himself.  

“The second amendment only protects a right to possess a firearm in the home for self-defense,” says Fields, noting Chicago residents can own a firearm inside their homes. “A wide variety of gun laws are constitutionally permissible.”  

A number of proponents also spoke in favor of the measure, including Fulton County Sheriff Jeff Standard. He says his county covers a lot of square miles, and he only has three deputies on staff at any given time.  

“Typically a 20 to 30 minute response time is not unheard of in an emergency situation to get across my county,” says Standard.  

The measure, dubbed the Family and Personal Protection Act, would require permit holders be 21 years old or older, have extensive practice and training before they acquire the permit, which must be issued by a local sheriff’s office.  

The bill must now come before the full house for debate. If it passes, it must still go through the Senate and be signed into law by the governor.

 Copyright IRN

Comments (4)
  1. Steve Jones says:

    hey Ms. Fields the second amendment doesn’t say “to keep and bear arms only in the home” it says to keep and bear arms. there is no restriction in the constitution about where those arms are allowed. I’m all for reasonable regulation but let’s be honest, Illinois especially Chicago is one of the most dangerous places to live in the country, the other 49 states that allow responsible law abiding folks to carry their guns are much safer than this hell hole.

  2. Tim johnson says:

    Fields do you not know what Constitution says!!!! The Second Amendment reads: A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS , SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. Chicago and Illinois have infringed on this right way to long. Every other state in the union other than Wisconsin allows their citizens to protect their families in or out of their homes. Make sure to contact your State Senators fellow citizens.

  3. jack burton says:

    I agree with the Illinois State Police, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, American Academy of Pediatrics-Illinois, Illinois League of Women Voters and Voices for Illinois Children that that Illinois does not need a concealed-carry law.

    You see, for many decades hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens here in Indiana have legally carried concealed handguns, and criminals know it is a bad idea to attack a Hoosier. Nothing says no to a rapist or mugger quite like a bullet hole in the chest.

    That’s why we are certainly doing our best to spread the news to Hoosier criminals that Illinois leaders prefer your residents to be defenseless lambs

    This encourages our rapists, muggers, mass killers, car-jackers, white-sheeted bigots, terrorists, gay bashers and anti-Semites to leave Indiana and move to Illinois. The mass exodus of our criminals helps ensure the continued well-being of Indiana residents — even those who choose not to carry a handgun.

    Your Illinois readers who will be victimized by these transplanted predators can find solace in knowing that we deeply appreciate the their willingness to keep their families available as easier targets of opportunity. If it saves just one Hoosier life, it is worth it.

  4. Mike says:

    Nice to see the views of an assistant to an exiting Mayor. Could they maybe find someone less relevant??

    Just for help in your education Ms Fields, 49 other states allow its citizens to carry weapons for protecting. Each of those states saw significant REDUCTION in crime. I know you and your Mayor have done so much to keep Chicago a safe city….Oh wait, Chicago has one of the worst murder rates in the country (was #1 in 2008 and 2009!).

    Explain to me how the city with the most restrictive gun control law has the highest murder rate?

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