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WJBD - Local News - State Representative Cavaletto Votes With Majority For Concealed Carry Bill

State Representative Cavaletto Votes With Majority For Concealed Carry Bill

State Representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem) was with the majority of house members voting in favor of a House compromise proposal that will allow law-abiding Illinoisans to carry concealed firearms.

During floor debate, Rep. Cavaletto talked about his daughter-in-law who was murdered as she took a walk on a rural road on an early Saturday morning near her home in October of 2007.  He feels if she had a little gun her pack when she walked, it may have been a different story and a tragedy could have been averted.

"She had no defense at all.  So you see, I think it is what you see in this gun.  I don't see a gun that should be used to kill people even though it does and it has in the City of Chicago. But I do see a safety need for people who live out in the country so who can protect themselves and their property," said Cavaletto.

Cavaletto says the proposal will allow the Illinois State Police to issue concealed carry licenses to law-abiding applicants that are at least 21 years of age, meet current FOID card requirements, pay a $150 fee for a five year license, complete 16 hours of training (3 hours of live firing exercises) and have not been convicted a violent crime or two DUI's in the past five years.

The legislation contains a number of prohibited locations where concealed carry license holders will not be able to carry, such as  elementary schools, child care facilities, colleges, courthouses, libraries, stadiums and arenas, amusement parks, government buildings, public transportation and establishments where 50% of the gross receipts come from alcohol sales.  Private owners and establishments can ban license holders from carrying on their premises, but they must post a sign indicating so.  The bill would also prohibit license holders from carrying a firearm while under the influence.

Cavaletto says this measure contains some of the toughest mental health restrictions in the country.  He notes an extremely important component of the legislation will strengthen mental health reporting by requiring more sharing and reporting of information that may disqualify applicants who are suffering mental health conditions.

The proposal will also create uniform standards statewide for the concealed carry of firearms in public.  The legislation preempts all local government regulation of firearms.  A home-rule unit of government would not be able to put in place more restrictive gun-control measures under this legislation, and this would invalidate current local ordinances that do so, such as Chicago's strict gun control laws.

SB 2193 passed the Illinois House by a vote of 85 to 30.  However, the legislation's fate remains uncertain in the Democrat controlled Senate.   A competing and much more strict bill has been introduced in the Senate.

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says a concealed carry bill like the one the house passed that would wipe out all local gun ordinances in the state is "offensive."  Cullerton says another problem with Madigan's bill is that it would allow people to bring guns into some places that serve alcohol.

Cullerton says his Democratic caucus will meet Monday to decide whether to vote on the House's bill.  He says his chamber also is revising a Senate gun bill that would adopt some of the House's suggested restrictions.

Gov. Pat Quinn also is lashing out at lawmakers after the Illinois House approved a concealed carry bill that he says "puts public safety at risk."   Quinn says he opposes the plan because it would wipe out local gun ordinances - including Chicago's ban on assault weapons.  He says that Chicago and other local communities should be able to keep their gun-control ordinances on the books. 

Quinn is vowing to do all he can to prevent the bill from passing in the Illinois Senate.

Illinois is the last state in the nation that bans concealed weapons, and the bill comes after a federal appeals court ordered lawmakers to pass a concealed carry law by June 9.

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