State News
7:04 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Group fights transparency issues within concealed carry legislation

Governor Pat Quinn says he's reviewing the compromise legislators reached on concealed carry.  No matter what action the governor takes, the measure's sponsor says it needs a minor fix, following concerns about transparency. IPR’S Amanda Vinicky explains.  Illinois residents would be able to carry guns in public under the measure before Governor Quinn. First, they would have to get a concealed carry permit.  The measure creates a state board to review applications.

As the measure's currently written, how the board comes to its decisions will remain a secret. It would be excluded from the state's Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Acts. That means the board could meet without prior notice, and records would not be made available.

The Illinois Press Association's Josh Sharp says he is not fighting provisions that would keep private names of gun-owners and permit applicants.

"It's about shining more light on government. Because they're not subject to the act, any kind of monetary decisions like spending money, where they meet, when they meet, all of that under this legislation, it's off-limits."

The plan's sponsor, Democratic Rep. Brandon Phelps of Harrisburg, says he was just trying to keep sensitive information private. If it becomes law, he says he'll introduce a follow-up measure to address the transparency concerns.

Illinois has to enact a concealed-carry law by July 9 to comply with a federal court order.