Illinois House takes more ‘test-votes’ on concealed carryContinue reading.
Illinois House approves more concealed-carry restrictions
SPRINGFIELD-In its fourth week voting on parts of a concealed-carry framework, the Illinois House Tuesday adopted more preliminary measures restricting who could carry a concealed firearm and where it could be done.
The first piece of legislation, sponsored by Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago), passed by a 67-44 margin and would ban gun owners from “knowingly” bringing firearms into bars or restaurants that serve alcohol. The restriction would not apply to street fairs and vendors, Williams said.
And the second adopted measure, sponsored by Rep. Robert Martwick (D-Norridge), gives police the option to object to a concealed-carry application when the applicant has been arrested five times or three times for gang-related offenses in the last seven years. The legislation passed by an 84-29-1 vote.
The two measures were adopted on the House floor, but they only have the potential to be passed at a later time as part of a more comprehensive bill.
A similar measure to the one banning guns in establishments serving liquor is included in a comprehensive concealed-carry bill sponsored by Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg). As in previous debates, many Republicans and some Downstate Democrats called for a new process using a comprehensive bill to debate the issue, rather than the piecemeal approach being used by House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago).
“This [legislation] is not done correctly because of the process that we’re unfortunately forced to go through by the speaker,” Rep. Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein) said.
The second measure – which would allow local law authorities to object to granting permits to people with arrest records – received scrutiny for being too broad, especially since the permit-seeker would not necessarily have to be convicted.
“I could be arrested on the House floor if I start screaming and throw a box of Kleenex,” Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo) contended. “I can think of lots of reasons people get arrested but not convicted. So, why are we using an arrest standard and not a conviction?”
Martwick, sponsor of the measure, said applicants could appeal any objections for a permit by law enforcement through an administrative hearing process set up by the state police.
“This draws a line,” Martwick said. “In order to catch the egregious instances so this doesn’t slip through the cracks, they are automatically going to have a hearing.”
The initiatives that advanced in the House Tuesday join other steps approved last week that would require gun owners to register their firearms, report lost or stolen guns to state police within 72 hours and lock up their guns if living with someone who could be mentally ill or have a criminal history.
The dozens of piecemeal proposals are being debated in the House as a U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the Illinois Legislature to pass a comprehensive concealed-carry bill by June 9.
Other proposals ultimately rejected in Tuesday’s debate included measures to require gun-owners to report private transfers of firearms to state police within 10 days; train and be certified separately for each weapon a gun owner wishes to carry; carry only one firearm per license; purchase a $1 million liability insurance policy; and give the Legislature until Jan. 1, 2016 before any legislation can take effect.