April 1, 2013
By The Southern
SPARTA — The Firearms Working Group led by Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon has crafted a 10-point checklist they say can help promote “common sense law-making” when it comes to gun measures in Illinois.
Simon was at the World Shooting Complex in Sparta Monday outlining the checklist, language generated from recent meetings with a number of people interested in gun rights and safety in the state. The list, Simon said, is representative of issues brought from all sides on the gun debate.
“Rhetoric can get in the way of common sense law making. This checklist cuts through the volatile language and gets at the heart of what we need to pass a concealed carry law that is constitutional and prevents needless deaths,” Simon said.
Illinois is the only state in the nation that bans concealed carry, but the ban was struck down last year in federal court and state officials have until June to pass a law on the matter.
State Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, has sponsored HB 997, which allows for concealed carry.
Simon said she has been meeting with gun owners, violence prevention professionals and health experts, among others, for weeks to seek input on what should go into the law.
The 10 points on the checklist are as follows:
Constitutionality – The law must uphold the right to keep and bear arms consisten with U.S. Supreme Court interpretation of the Constitution.
Basic Qualifications – Concealed carry permits should be issued only to adult Illinois residents with a valid FOID card, who do not pose danger to themselves or others.
Funding – The law should establish a fund of user fees to finance concealed carry permit applications and renewals.
Permitting Authority – State police should be the permitting authority for concealed carry and should maintain a database of permits issued.
Local Input – Sheriffs, local law enforcement should give to state police information about a concealed carry applicant that might pose a safety risk should he/she be allowed to carry a concealed gun.
Background Checks – Comprehensive criminal record checks and investigations into mental health, substance abuse or domestic violence histories should be examine prior to the issuing of an applicant’s permit.
Firearm Training – Permit applicants should be required to complete a firearm safety and live fire training program in receiving or renewing permits.
Permits – Lost, stolen, or damaged permits should be reported to authorities in a timely manner.
Sensitive Places – Concealed firearms should be prohibited in schools and other certain public places, consistent with U.S. Supreme Court guidance. Private property owners should also have the power to forbid concealed weapons on their property.
Violations – Applicants who violate the law or make false statements to obtain a permit should be subject to criminal penalties.