- Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:54 AM
Over the past few months, I have been focusing a lot on our Second Amendment rights. There have been numerous events that have occurred during this time that will impact gun owners in Illinois, and I wanted to make sure they are aware of the details and events that may affect their Second Amendment rights.
Back in December, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state’s ban on carrying a weapon in public is unconstitutional and gave lawmakers 180 days to pass a concealed-carry bill. The 2-1 decision was a huge win for gun rights advocates, who have argued that the ban on concealed weapons violates the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment and what they see as citizens' right to carry guns for self-defense.
The process of crafting a concealed-carry bill has already started. As you may have heard, Representative Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) introduced the Family and Personal Protection Act, which would allow licensed residents to carry a handgun on them or in their vehicle. The bill does have some restrictions on where license-holders may carry guns without written permission and requirements, including: applicants to be at least 21 years old, have a Firearm Owner’s Identification card and proof of National Rifle Association or equivalent firearms training. Applicants also must pass a criminal background check and have no documented history of mental illness or alcohol abuse.
The most recent events occurred on Thursday. House Speaker Mike Madigan set dates for two public hearings later this month to focus on concealed-carry legislation, and Senate President John Cullerton named Sen. Kwame Raoul as his point person on gun control legislation. I plan to work with Senator Raoul on concealed carry, but one thing to keep in mind: concealed carry will be legal regardless of whether Chicago politicians decide to introduce their own legislation.
During my time as your state senator, I have always fought to protect your right to bear arms and I will continue to do so throughout this process. I look forward to keeping you updated as we work toward crafting concealed-carry legislation.