In the Illinois House of Representatives is a new concealed carry bill, HB 0997.
This bill replaced a bill (HB0148) in the last session that came very close to passing in May 2011. At that time Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-118th) thought he had at least 71 votes in the bag for a veto-proof passage, but it became clear during the vote that some of those who had said they would vote YEA, had in fact changed their minds. Perhaps the pressure from the leaders of the Democratic Party just got too heavy.
This new bill, HB0997, was introduced January 29, and it now has 34 co-sponsors.
Noticeably absent, from our viewpoint, is that the McHenry County Representatives have yet to sign on.
So where are Jack Franks (D-63rd), Barb Wheeler (R-64th), Dave McSweeney (R-52nd), Mike Tryon (R-66)? Why haven't they signed on?
The Bill is sitting in the Rules Committee, where HB0148 languished without action.
However, the House is not going to be able to sit this one out. Or maybe it will.
If Rules Chair Barrie Flynn Currie chooses to sit on this bill, Illinois will join four other states this summer with a Constitutional Carry status. This means anyone can pack, concealed. No permits. Will Rep. Currie take a chance on that? I doubt it.
At the townhall meeting in Chicago on Saturday on South Side, the elected officials admitted, without hesitation, the Illinois will have a concealed carry bill this summer. My opinion is that they realized that the challenge by Attorney General Lisa Madigan will fail.
Some advocates are hoping that the legislators will stall and fail to enact a law. They are up against a tight deadline. If they fail? Illinois is Constitutional Carry, and we all can pack on June 10, 2013 without permits or training.
Call your legislators tomorrow and ask them to get moving.