Illinois House defeats less restrictive concealed carry bill

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois House Thursday night defeated a concealed weapons proposal favored by gun rights advocates, a setback that could spur negotiations toward finding common ground with lawmakers who back gun control.

The legislation represented a signature showdown in the critical gun debate that is in the spotlight this spring because a federal appeals court has set an early June deadline for Illinois to put in place a concealed weapons law.

Under the proposal, guns could have been carried on mass transit buses and trains but banned from taverns, schools, casinos, stadiums, child-care facilities, universities and government buildings, including courthouses, legislative offices and the state Capitol.

Rep. Brandon Phelps, the legislature’s leading concealed carry advocate, challenged his colleagues to vote for what he viewed as reasonable parameters on where people could carry guns in public, who is allowed to carry, who decides whether a person is eligible and how much training should be required.

“This could be our last chance,” Phelps said, saying he had made changes to address numerous concerns of gun control  lawmakers. “We keep giving and we keep giving and we keep giving.”

But the Phelps legislation needed to reach a three-fifths level of support because he is seeking to have a uniform state law that supersedes tighter home-rule ordinances desired by Cook County, Chicago and other large cities in Illinois. That meant it needed 71 of 118 lawmakers to vote in favor. The measure got 64 votes, however. Another 45 House members voted against and four voted present.

North Side Democratic Rep. Kelly Cassidy, who just one day earlier saw her more restrictive New York-styled gun legislation defeated, contended much more needs to be negotiated to broach the regional divide between hunter rights and the rights of citizens on the dangerous streets of Chicago.

“The only hunting that’s happening in my neighborhood is of young men,” Cassidy said.

Cassidy argued the legislation is written so loosely that a person could “freely carry a concealed handgun” with a detachable high-capacity magazine and laser sight. And she argued against the legislation because even landlords in a two-flat could not ban a tenant from carrying a gun.

"I hope that we're willing to stand up and give moments of silence to all the individuals that are probably going to get harmed as a result of this," said Rep. Will Davis, a Homewood Democrat who argued against passage.

But a leading Downstate Democrat, Rep. Frank Mautino of Spring Valley, argued the bill should be supported because it represented a “meaningful, sensible bill that meets the requirements of the courts.”

Mautino cautioned that neither side of the debate wants to miss the court-imposed June 9 deadline to act. He and other explained that missing the deadline meant even some of the restrictions in the Phelps proposal would be lifted no other law were put in place.

“We need to work together,” Mautino said.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge
    Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge

    An argument over a woman led to one man being killed and another wounded during a shooting inside a South Loop music lounge early Saturday, police said.

  • Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise
    Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise

    Members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity apparently learned a racist chant that recently got their chapter disbanded during a national leadership cruise four years ago that was sponsored by the fraternity's national administration, the university's president said Friday.

  • In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing
    In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing

    Someone may have improperly tapped a gas line before an explosion that leveled three apartment buildings and injured nearly two dozen people, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday as firefighters soaked the still-smoldering buildings and police searched for at least two missing people.

  • Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden
    Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel has reduced spending and increased fines, fees and certain taxes to shrink the chronic budget deficits left over from his predecessor, Richard M. Daley.

  • Six Flags Great America's lost attractions
    Six Flags Great America's lost attractions

    Not every ride's the Willard's Whizzer. That iconic coaster debuted in 1976 when Marriott's Great America, now Six Flags Great America, in Gurnee, Ill., first opened. And it's still popular today. But for every Whizzer there's a Tidal Wave, Shockwave or Z-Force, rides existing only in memory.

  • Denim's just getting started
    Denim's just getting started

    Five years ago, denim-on-denim defied all of the dire warnings in the "Undateable" handbook: Instead of evoking John Denver or Britney Spears in her misstyled youth, chambray shirts paired with darker blue jeans became as cool as actor Johnny Depp and street-style heroine Alexa Chung.

Comments
Loading