Two bills have been introduced into the Illinois State House that would bring concealed carry to Illinois if passed. HB 112 and HB 148 would both establish the Family and Personal Protection Act. Both bills have been referred to the Agriculture and Conservation Committee. While separate bills have been introduced, they are both identical in wording. As to why two identical bills would be introduced into the same chamber, I don’t have a clue.
The bills would as described in their synopses:
Creates the Family and Personal Protection Act. Permits the county sheriff to issue permits to carry concealed firearms to persons at least 21 years of age who meet certain requirements. Requires an applicant for a permit to have completed specified training requirements developed by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board consisting of classroom instruction and live firing exercises. Preempts home rule. Amends the Illinois Police Training Act and the Criminal Code of 1961 to make conforming changes. Effective immediately.
Of the seven members of the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee, five are either sponsors or co-sponsors of these bills including both the Chair and Vice-Chair.
According to a story in the Quincy Herald Whig quoting NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermede:
Todd Vandermyde, legislative liaison of the National Rifle Association, believes the Supreme Court rulings and the make-up of the Illinois Legislature both help the cause of gun rights.
“I think we’re positioned better now than we ever have been. A lot more Democrats coming on board,” Vandermyde said.
He pointed out that Sullivan is a member of the Senate leadership and supports gun rights. Additionally, he said a straw poll in the Senate shows a solid majority of the body supports laws to allow Illinois residents to carry firearms for protection.
“This isn’t some wild thing that only a few states do. It’s something that a lot of states do,” Vandermyde said.
The Sullivan referred to in the quote above is Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville), one of the Majority Caucus Whips, who has consistently voted for gun rights legislation since he entered the Illinois State Senate.
While concealed carry bills may pass both houses of the Illinois legislature, Gov. Pat Quinn indicated in his election bid that he would veto any such bill. This makes the narrow loss of the Republican candidate for Governor in 2010, Bill Brady, even more painful as Brady had indicated he would sign such a concealed carry bill.
UPDATE: Thirdpower has this update about CCW in Illinois. There may be enough support for it there is a veto-proof majority. If that proves true, it is great news!