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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Concealed carry legislation is pending before the Illinois governor but the state's attorney in Madison County says citizens can start carrying weapons immediately.

Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons said Thursday that "it serves no just purpose" to deny citizens the ability to carry weapons. The Illinois Legislature passed concealed-carry legislation during its recent session under order by a federal appeals court, which ruled the state's ban unconstitutional. That legislation is awaiting action by Gov. Pat Quinn, who hasn't said if he will sign it or not.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Gibbons says people can carry a concealed weapon in his county as long as they meet seven requirements. Those requirements include possessing a valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card. Citizens also must be carrying the weapon for self-defense.

 
Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Senate President John Cullerton is meeting with key lawmakers to attempt a compromise on legislation allowing people to carry concealed guns.

Spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon says Cullerton met earlier Wednesday with Senate and House members who have rival, but similar, measures.

Phelon says there are "core compromises" that can be made to create an acceptable plan.

A top Senate committee voted Tuesday to reject a House-approved version that not only allows the public possession of weapons but invalidates all local ordinances on firearms, such as Chicago's assault-weapons ban.

The same committee advanced a plan by Senate Democrats that excludes the pre-emption of local laws and includes tighter restrictions on carrying guns while drinking alcohol.

 

Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.  • The Illinois Senate Executive Committee defeated legislation allowing the public possession of firearms, a bill that just last week passed the House 85-30.

The Democratic-controlled committee voted 6-8 on Tuesday. Opponents objected to the plan sponsored by Democratic Sen. Gary Forby of Benton, saying it'd curb all local firearms ordinances.

Committee Chairman Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat, says such pre-emption is "a bridge too far."

The committee's taking up a Democratic measure that leaves local firearms regulations in place — city ordinances such as Chicago's assault-weapons ban.

 
Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is lashing out at lawmakers after the Illinois House approved a concealed carry bill that he says "puts public safety at risk."

Quinn says he opposes the plan because it would wipe out local gun ordinances - including Chicago's ban on assault weapons. Quinn issued a statement minutes after the House passed the bill on Friday.

He says that Chicago and other local communities should be able to keep their gun-control ordinances on the books.

Quinn is vowing to do all he can to prevent the bill from passing in the Illinois Senate.

Illinois is the last state in the nation that bans concealed weapons, and the bill comes after a federal appeals court ordered lawmakers to pass a concealed carry law by June 9.

 
Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has approved a plan to allow qualified gun owners to carry their weapons in public.

Illinois is the only state in the country without a concealed-carry law. A federal appeals court says that's unconstitutional and has ordered the state to enact such a law by June 9.

The proposal adopted today was brokered by state House Speaker Michael Madigan, but it's opposed by several of his fellow Democrats, including the governor.

Gov. Pat Quinn's office has called the plan a "massive overreach" because it would wipe out all local gun regulations, including Chicago's ban on assault-style weapons. That's a deal-breaker for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who backs tough restrictions to curb the city's gun violence. Quinn says he'll work with the state Senate to "stop it in its tracks."

Senate President John Cullerton, another Chicago Democrat, also opposes the measure.

Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois legislation allowing public possession of concealed guns has passed the House Judiciary Committee. It was a compromise backed by Speaker Michael Madigan.

The measure was endorsed Thursday 13-3 and goes to the full House Friday. It comes two weeks before a June 9 deadline set by a federal appeals court for Illinois to abandon its prohibition on the public possession of weapons.

The legislation would require the Illinois State Police to issue concealed carry permits to qualified gun owners. It's patterned on a bill introduced by gun-rights advocate Rep. Brandon Phelps, a southern Illinois Democrat.

But Madigan's version significantly adds places that would be off limits to guns. Those include mass transit - a must for violence-weary Chicago Democrats.

 
Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois Senate proposal to allow the carrying of concealed weapons would let large cities add to the list of places considered off limits to guns.

Sen. Kwame Raoul told The Associated Press Tuesday he doesn't expect many cities to declare separate gun-free locales because there already are many statewide restrictions in the bill.

Lobbyist Todd Vandermyde says the National Rifle Association will oppose "any local control" on concealed carry. The local option would be limited to "home-rule units" - generally cities over 25,000 in population. Raoul's legislation includes a statewide gun prohibition in schools, liquor stores, stadiums, amusement parks and more.

Illinois has until June 9 to comply with a federal court order to enact a law allowing concealed guns in public.

Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is proposing a county concealed-carry ordinance if lawmakers in Springfield can't come up with a statewide law.

A federal court has ruled Illinois' ban on the public possession of firearms is unconstitutional and gave the state until June 9 to come up with a concealed-carry law.

But the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Dart worries that if lawmakers don't come up with anything by then, it will be legal for anyone with a firearm owners' identification card to carry a gun anywhere, so he wants a countywide ordinance ready to go just in case.

The ordinance would give the sheriff the authority to approve and reject licenses to carry concealed firearms in the county and applicants would have to pay $300 fee for a license.

 
Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gov. Jay Nixon's administration says a Missouri House computer was used in an effort to access a secure website with the list of people who have a concealed weapons permit.

The Office of Administration filed an open records request to determine who did it. Spokeswoman Misti Preston said Friday the user tried unsuccessfully to view the list 23 times.

She says the website was accessed using log-in information that state officials previously provided to a federal agent. That agent told a Senate committee this week he wanted the list of permit holders for an investigation into Social Security fraud.

Preston says the log-in information was made public during the Senate's investigation but the data was removed from the website in March.

Missouri House officials were not immediately available for comment.

Published in Local News

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Republican lawmakers are raising new questions about whether Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's administration has tried to comply with the federal Real ID Act.

   Senators on Wednesday released a copy of a form letter sent in March 2010 by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to Nixon thanking him for his efforts to comply with Real ID.

   Nixon signed a 2009 state law prohibiting Missouri from taking steps intended to comply with the goals of the 2005 federal identity law, which sets stringent requirements for photo identification cards.

   Nixon has previously denied that Missouri is trying to implement Real ID. His administration reasserted Wednesday that it's not complying with Real ID and said the letter is meaningless. It distributed similar form letters sent to governors in several other states.

 
Published in Local News
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