Illinois remains the only state in the country that does not allow licensed individuals to carry concealed firearms. A bill in the House could change that.
House Bill 5745 would allow the Illinois State Police to issue a license to individuals allowing them to carry a firearm. The bill also sets forth the requirements and qualifications individuals would have to meet to be granted a license.
The Huffington Post reports that gun rights advocates have repeatedly tried to get a concealed carry law passed. Last year a similar measure failed by six votes.
As the Capitol Fax blog pointed out, the issue has pitted downstate elected officials against their Chicago peers.
Opponents of concealed carry point to situations such as the Trayvon Martin shooting. In the Florida case, Martin was pursued by neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman, who was carrying a firearm. There was a confrontation and Zimmerman shot and killed Martin, claiming self-defense. Zimmerman has been charged with second degree murder.
However, advocates of concealed carry say that the law will reduce crime and that it provides for licensing requirements.
Among concealed carry advocates are Suzanna Hupp, a survivor of a mass shooting in Killeen, Texas in 1991 in which her parents were killed. Hupp reached into her purse for her gun during the shooting, but she had left it in her car, obeying Texas law at the time. Twenty-three people were killed in the shooting.