* A new coalition says it wants Illinois to remain the only state that doesn’t allow some form of concealed carry law…
“I can’t fathom the idea of going to the mall and just thinking that under that coat over there, or in that purse, there might be a weapon,” said Ald. Ricardo Munoz of the 22nd Ward. “We cannot allow concealed carry to be the law of the land.”
Coalition members cited pressure from the National Rifle Association and gun-rights activists across Illinois for their growing concern. They worry state lawmakers could attempt to push through a law during the legislative veto session that starts this week.
With 36 lame duck legislators, the General Assembly is ripe for last-minute deals between outgoing lawmakers and those willing to trade votes to ensure majorities on other issues, said Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin.
“While we don’t expect that the concealed carry bill will come up, it may because there will be a lot of horse trading going on in the final days of this old General Assembly,” he said. “We need to remind those who have stood with us that they need to stay fast with us and make sure that we oppose concealed carry.”
Suffredin is right that the bill is not expected to come up. But he’s also right that there will be some serious horse trading in the coming weeks. So, from his perspective, this move was probably prudent.
Valinda Rowe, spokeswoman for gun-owner advocacy group Illinois Carry, acknowledged that there is a divide between Illinois’ urban and rural residents on gun control issues. But she said her statewide organization’s constituents come from all walks of life.
“Our members are made up of all different political backgrounds - we have conservatives, we have liberals, we have libertarians, that all support the Second Amendment,” Rowe said. “We’re not talking about mentally ill people or those who are a danger to themselves or others. We’re talking about law-abiding citizens.”
The house bill would require gun owners to obtain concealed carry licenses and take firearm safety courses. It would also prohibit concealed weapons in most government buildings, including schools and libraries. The bill fell six votes short of the required three-fifths majority in a house vote in May.
Try very hard to stay civil in comments, please. I took a quick look at some of the comments on stories in other publications about this development and some were downright bizarre. We don’t want that here.