Facing June Deadline, Ill. No Closer To Concealed Carry Law | St. Louis Public Radio

Facing June Deadline, Ill. No Closer To Concealed Carry Law

Mar 26, 2013

Credit (via Flickr/kcdsTM)

Groups on both sides of the concealed carry debate in Illinois say the state is no closer to crafting a court-ordered law than they were the first day of this legislative session.

Richard Pearson is executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. He says lawmakers are sidelining the plan by bypassing the usual committee process:

"We've had committee meetings from one end of the state to the other, and out of this we have gotten nothing," Pearson said.

Mark Walsh of the Illinois Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence agrees.  He says his group wants to make sure they have a voice in the final legislation.

"As much as we would like to see concealed carry not part of the landscape in Ill., concealed carry has become a matter not of if, but of when," Walsh argued.

Walsh and Pearson spoke at a forum in Springfield over the weekend. Both agree they want background checks and gun-range testing for concealed carry applicants.

Illinois lawmakers must come up with a concealed carry law by June 9, or a more lenient federal order could go into effect.