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Concealed carry bill begins its annual journey at the Capitol

March 06, 2012 at 07:59 PM

The State Journal-Register

Legislation allowing Illinoisans to carry concealed handguns easily passed out of the House Agriculture Committee on Tuesday, as it does every legislative session, but even lawmakers who support the idea fear a provision concerning universities could cost votes when it reaches the House floor.

House Bill 5745 allows universities to prohibit concealed carry on their campuses, but it puts them in legal jeopardy if a student with a concealed carry permit is hurt or killed as a result of a criminal act and he or she wasn’t allowed to carry a gun because of university policy.

Todd Vandermyde, lobbyist for the National Rifle Association in Illinois, told the committee the provision was inserted because the universities were not negotiating in good faith on the bill.

“You can’t have it both ways,” Vandermyde said.

Rep. Kelly Burke, D-Evergreen Park, asked Vandermyde why a state university would be liable when the bill does not apply the same standard to businesses, schools, sports stadiums and child care facilities that bar guns.

“There were tradeoffs that were made,” Vandermyde said. “The colleges, frankly, have been very unwilling to negotiate over any aspects of the bill. They just want, ‘no, no, no.’ OK, if you don’t want to come to the table and negotiate in a reasonable manner, then fine.

“So maybe this will force the dialogue.”

“Thank you for your frankness,” said Burke, who was the only member of the committee to vote against the bill.

Rep. Don Moffitt, R-Gilson, who supports the measure, said the college language wouldn’t help the bill’s chances for passage.

“I have voted for it every time,” Moffitt said. “That may not be building support.”

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, said he is willing to work with the universities on the issue.

Phelps said he believes he has “almost 70” of the 71 votes needed to pass the bill and move it to the Senate. The House parliamentarian has ruled that the bill requires a supermajority instead of the standard 60 votes because it overrules cities’ home rule powers.

“We’re willing to sit down with anybody,” Phelps said. “There are some people that are leaving office that have said they’re going to vote for it this time. So I think we picked up two or three new votes.”

Chris Wetterich can be reached at 788-1523.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

I am not for concealled-carry,and I can bet cops
don’t want it either.How are you going to know if
the person has a permit, without asking him to show
it? Then,if that person has no permit,unless you’ve
got your gun drawn, you could be in trouble.I think
people hiding weapons are probably up to no good,and
should be approached as such. No, I am not for this
law. Instead, how about open carry? There is a deterent to a criminal.We should have the right to
openly carry whatever protection we deem necessary!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/19 at 08:01 PM

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