Senate committee approves concealed-carry legislation

May 17, 2013

An Illinois Senate committee has approved legislation that would pave the way for concealed-carry of firearms in Illinois. But gun-rights advocates say it's too restrictive, and the measure faces an uphill climb. IPR’S Brian Mackey has more:
State Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Democrat from Chicago, was trying to negotiate a compromise with gun-rights supporters. But ultimately he went his own way. 

His proposal would not allow guns in schools or on public transportation. It would also let Chicago police deny some individuals with concealed-carry permits from bringing weapons into the city. Raoul says Chicago has things that make it different from the rest of Illinois like a much higher population density.

"And so there's a lot more opportunity for conflict."

The difference here is the one at the heart of the gun debate: If you look at a city with a relatively high crime rate, do you say the answer lies in more guns or fewer? Republican Sen. Dale Righter, from Mattoon, flipped Raoul's argument about Chicago's potential for conflict on its head.

"Isn't that a reason to make sure it is just as east to carry a loaded firearm in the city of Chicago?"

Illinois has until June 9 to meet a federal court decline to enact some form of concealed-carry. Pro-gun activists are pushing for a much less restrictive law.