SPRINGFIELD - Tuesday, State Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) introduced legislation setting up the legal parameters for Illinois citizens 21 years and over to carry concealed weapons in Illinois. The passage of HB 997 would make Illinois the 50th state to enact such a law.
Phelps' legislation requires a permit for carry to be issued by the State Police, and sets up stiff requirements for those allowed to carry loaded pistols. Among other requirements to obtain a license, Phelps' bill requires the carrier to pass specified weapons training and have an Illinois' Firearms Owner ID card. He or she must waive any restrictions from state law enforcement searching confidential medical and legal records for psychological or psychiatric treatment, and have had no issues with alcohol substance abuse for the previous three years.
The license will be revoked immediately if the licensee is found guilty of driving while intoxicated twice or if a protection order is granted against the license holder.
The proposed cost for a five-year license is $25 that will go to a fund designated to pay for the expense of enforcing the law.
While Chicago politicians such as Rahm Emanuel and Governor Quinn push for more gun restrictions, Downstate Democrats represent voters that demand gun owner rights. The Family and Individual Protection Act was introduced the same day Lt Governor Sheila Simon announced a gun summit to discuss legislation that would fulfill the Seventh District's recent federal court decision overruling Illinois' concealed carry ban.
"Issues about firearms often have regional rather than partisan splits," Simon said at a press conference. "Your perspective, as to where you come from in the state, often has an influence on how you look at these issues."
Simon's presser comments were accompanied by statements from several Downstate Democrats who said the Second Amendment issue was important to their constituents.