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Macomb, IL…State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) released the following statement after the Illinois House failed to approve a measure that will allow law-abiding residents to carry concealed firearms.

“This is a very responsible and reasonable proposal that protects 2nd Amendment rights, while putting in place necessary safeguards,” said Rep. Hammond.  “I’m disappointed that today’s action did not result in Illinois joining the 49 other states that already have some form of concealed carry in place.”

“The courts have told us that the current restrictions on concealed carry here in Illinois are unconstitutional.  By not passing a responsible, sensible concealed carry law such as HB 997, opponents run the risk of not having any restrictions on where firearms can be carried in this state.  If those who are opposed to concealed carry want some reassurance that the individuals who are going to be carrying firearms are not criminals and are properly trained, then they need to get onboard with passing this bill.”

House Bill 997 would create a clear path toward concealed carry (or open carry) for law-abiding residents, while also ensuring proper safeguards, training requirements and mental health protections.  HB 997 sets forth specific requirements as to where firearms would be legal to carry, and what locations firearms would be prohibited, such as courthouses, government buildings and airports.  The legislation includes “shall issue” permits to be granted by the state police for those who meet the proper requirements to obtain a concealed carry license.

HB 997 was defeated in the House by a vote of 64 to 45.  The legislation needs 71 affirmative votes to pass, because the Speaker of the House has ruled it preempts home rule authority.

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