Southern Illinois lawmakers say a new concealed carry bill may be what brings pro and anti-gun groups together after a federal court ruled Illinois' lack of a conceal carry law unconstitutional.
State Representative Brandon Phelps of Harrisburg says similar to last session's conceal carry bill, the new bill requires a license and limits where a weapon can and cannot be carried. But he says there are changes in the bill: "The permit fees a little bit lower, its $25 with this bill. I think was $75. Some of the training is different. The permits are going to be issued by the state police on this one. In the previous bill they were going to be issued by the sheriffs. Where you can and cannot carry a weapon, pretty similar to House Bill 148...no schools, no churches, no parks, no sporting events, things like that."
State Representative John Bradley of Marion agrees. He says the new legislation for concealed carry should be passed in Illinois despite the recent shooting in Connecticut. Bradley says the state has about four months to come up with conceal carry legislation. Illinois is currently the only state that does have any form of concealed carry permits. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is asking for another hearing on the decision by the Appeals Court.
The National Rifle Association is confident that this will be the year that concealed carry will be passed. They say that the second amendment allows citizens the right to purchase, own and carry firearms, so the NRA believes it would be unconstitutional not to do so.