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Will Illinois Get A Concealed Carry Law?

By Kevin Robinson in News on Feb 6, 2009 5:20PM

The Illinois Sheriff's Association seems to be an unlikely supporter of what would be a controversial public law: the right to carry a concealed weapon. The group is taking a stand in favor of the Family and Personal Protection Act, introduced on January 20 by Democratic State Rep. John Bradley of Marion. HB 245, (can read the bill here), would permit citizens to carry concealed firearms if they have the proper training. "I believe to be successful the key to concealed carry is training," St. Clair County Sheriff Mearl Justus said Wednesday in a prepared statement. "If we allow concealed carry, we must make sure only the right people have the guns. This is best done by requiring training, proper identification, and a thorough background check — including a mental evaluation.... If this is done, our citizens will have the right to concealed carry, but those who can't pass a background check or cannot successfully complete a training program will not be legally able to obtain a permit."

2009_1_guns.jpg The bill would establish a set of statewide criteria under which the Illinois State Police can issue conceal carry permits. Among the criteria that applicants must meet are that they be at least 21 years old; a resident of Illinois for the past six months and a permanent U.S. resident, have not been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, do not demonstrate a lack of mental capacity according to Illinois State Police records, and do not have a problem with substance abuse. Applicants must also complete a training course in handgun use, safety, and marksmanship, and instruction in the law relating to firearm use.

Illinois is the only state besides Wisconsin that prohibits concealed carry. Robert Hertz, sheriff of Madison County Illinois agreed. "Some time ago I was dead against these laws, but I've moderated my view."

Photo by Pantagrapher