Brian Seay

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) – The Illinois House is expected to vote on a controversial concealed carry bill next week, and opponents of the legislation are pointing to gaps in the gun permit system as a reason to vote no.

State Police aren’t getting sufficient data on the number of mentally ill people in Illinois, according to a State Police report on firearms violence. State Police use that information to determine whether someone can get a Firearm Owner’s Identification card, or FOID card. 

“The Illinois State Police and the Department of Human Services admitted that despite their efforts to come into compliance, the lack of mental health records in the FOID background database system presented serious public safety concerns,” said Colleen Daley, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.

One hundred eighty-three of the 180,000 licensed clinicians in the state have registered with the Department of Human Services to help with the data collection.  That’s from a 2009 report by Illinois State Police that also shows too few county courts in Illinois are providing data on the mentally ill.

Some lawmakers are using these facts to express their opposition to H.B. 148, the concealed carry bill.

“The last thing we want to see happen is for someone with a mental health history to gain access, lawful access to a loaded, concealed gun,” said State Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge).

State Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) said earlier this month that the concealed carry bill was “three to four votes short.”  The Illinois Chiefs of Police are backing the bill, with most of the opposition coming from Chicago and the suburbs.

Copyright IRN

Comments (8)
  1. Skorpius says:

    You know what threatens the public right NOW? Criminals with guns. They didn’t bother to get a FOID card and they would rather people be unarmed to make their jobs easier. I am Chicago born and raised and am sick and tired of Chicago and Cook County misrepresenting MY wishes, and ultimately MY rights, on which the country was founded. The anti-gunners (a.k.a. the people who won’t be there to protect you should you ever need it) are pulling out any little argument they can to deny the regular citizen’s rights. That, to me, is criminal.

    1. Scott says:

      The media just can’t seem to bring themselves to note in these stories that the Chicago Sgt Union and the Chicago Lts Assocaition have passed resolutions in support of right to carry.
      Also I find the timing of this “alarming concern” on the mental health records a little suspicious.
      Get over it, 92 of 102 counties support the 2nd amendment and we had a clear majority in both chambers of the legislature before we even started negotiating. We have 56.3% of the votes we need in the house in sponsors alone.

  2. milkforme says:

    For some reason, the full list of support gets left out of most articles concerning HB148…In addition to the IL Chiefs we have support of:

    Chicago Sergeants Association
    Chicago Lt’s Association
    IL Sheriffs’ Association

    Four major law enforcement organizations willing to publicly back HB148!

    Concerning the mental health records: Why should my Constitutionally supported Rights as an American be infringed because the state can’t do its job?

  3. Ray M Jones says:

    The good people of Illinois have been disenfranchised for too long. It is time for the lawmakers to do their job of truly representing their constituents and not bending to the will of the Chicago thugs. It’s time to catch up with the rest of America and allow the free exercise of the rights guaranteed by the US Constitution. The right of self protection is given by God and not a group of politicians seeking to enhance their own power. It is time for the right to carry in Illinois!

  4. Jack Forbes says:

    Any persons who would fall through the mental illness cracks now, but are not convicted felons and have an FOID card can get firearms now! Why continue to deprive all Illinois citizens of a fundamental right because a lone nutcase might jump through all the hoops pay the fee, risk arrest for perjury to get a carry license. Talk about the nanny state.

    This bill also has the support of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

    When are enough voters in Cook County going to tell Chicago and Cook County that we do have a brain and yes we are responsible enough to protect ourselves. Out of this whole nation Illinois appears to be the repository of all the irresponsible people because the other 49 states allow defensive carry of firearms openly and/or concealed.

  5. Anthony Feng says:

    So let me get this right… HB 148 should be opposed because of gaps in mental illness screening, but we’re not going to fix the gaps. Instead we’re going to CONTINUE to issue FOID cards to the mentally ill and allow them to buy guns anyways. I’m sure mentally ill people will obey the law and keep their guns at home… brilliant…

  6. Indie says:

    A question for Mayor Daly;

    Of all the people shot in chicago so far this year, how many were able to defend themselves when their freedom was taken by force?????

  7. Rowlf Woof says:

    Chicago got gun control to begin with because shopkeepers were shooting Mob soldiers who tried to run protection rackets on them. Mob bosses ‘talked’ Chicago politicians into gun control to protect their Mob.
    The Chicago machine disarmed everybody ‘for their own safety’ , and gave the Mob the control they sought. The rest is history.
    Illinois is famous for it’s corrupt politicians, is it any wonder they want us defenseless?

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