Long-time downstate lawmaker Brandon Phelps, a Democrat State Representative from Harrisburg, has once again filed legislation calling for the legalization of conceal carry in Illinois. The difference this time is that it will likely pass.
With a federal appellate decision in December that Illinois’ ban on conceal carry was unconstitutional and the judicial panel’s order that the state develop a conceal carry law, Phelps may finally see his hard work on the issue pay off this year.
On Tuesday Phelps filed House Bill 997, which would create the Family and Personal Protection Act. The Act would create a program managed through the Illinois State Police that would allow for the issuance of conceal carry licenses.
The licenses would allow a person to carry a loaded or unloaded handgun “on or about his or her person, concealed or otherwise.”
It would also allow for the license holder to keep or carry a loaded or unloaded handgun on or about his or her person when in a vehicle, keep a loaded or unloaded handgun openly or concealed in a vehicle. The measure would, however, prohibit the carrying of the handgun in certain locations.
The measure would call for the State Police to issue a license within 30-days of a completed application and would be valid throughout the State of Illinois for five years from the date issued and could be renewed.
Language in the bill establishes qualifications for licenses, certified firearms instructors and instructor trainers. It provides for home rule preemption and provides that the provisions of the Act can be severed.
Heading off a repeat of license holders being publicly listed, as recently happened in New York, the Act would amend the Freedom of Information Act. If it passes both chambers of the General Assembly and is signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn, the measure would become effective immediately.