A portion of the concealed carry bill that’s in the governor’s hands is coming under criticism.
The seven-person panel that would hear appeals from concealed carry applicants who are denied is, under the bill, exempt from the open meetings act and freedom of information act requests.
Josh Sharp, the director of government relations for the Illinois press association, says that makes all of the board’s actions secretive and that the panel’s use of public money would also be exempt from public record.
He says instead of the complete exclusion from “sunshine” policies, the bill should require compliance with an exemption to protect the privacy of applicants and keep their information from being published.
Illinois has until July 9 to enact a concealed carry law.
However, in related news, the State’s Attorney in Madison County says citizens can start carrying weapons immediately.
Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said Thursday that “it serves no just purpose” to deny citizens the ability to carry weapons.
The Illinois legislature passed concealed-carry legislation during its recent session under order by a federal appeals court, which ruled the state’s ban unconstitutional. That legislation is awaiting action by Gov. Pat Quinn, who hasn’t said if he will sign it or not.