WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Illinois Lawmakers Respond to Gun Law Ruling

Dec 12, 2012

A federal appeals court is giving the Illinois Legislature 180 days to create a concealed carry law. It cited the Second Amendment in striking down the state’s ban on carrying concealed weapons in public.

One western Illinois lawmaker believes the legislature can meet a court-ordered deadline to create a concealed carry law.

Rushville State Senator John Sullivan
Credit Rich Egger

Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) said such a measure can be enacted if common sense provisions are written into it.

"As long as you make sure that those weapons aren't in places where you wouldn't want them," said Sullivan.  "Perhaps in a bar where there's alcohol being served. Would you want somebody to carry a weapon in there? I think that is something that obviously would need to be looked at very carefully.

He also said the measure should require training and background checks.

Sullivan considers this a regional issue rather than a partisan one and acknowledges Chicago faces different challenges, such as gang violence. 

State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) said the ruling will provide a boost to gun-right advocates but added they should not over play their hand.

"My fear is that with this court ruling some folks will take to the other extreme," Hammond said, "and say it's Katie bar the door now, and anything goes. We have to be very careful that we find a balance."

Macomb State Representative Norine Hammond

Hammond supported concealed carry legislation that almost passed the Illinois House earlier this year.  She said the bill took a lot of work to craft and contained provisions to make sure the law could be enacted safely.

These included allowing business owners the ability to decide whether or not to allow firearms in their businesses. The bill also gave local sheriffs the ability to deny concealed carry permits to citizens.