Illinois House committee begins hearings on gun measures - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Illinois House committee begins hearings on gun measures

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(WGEM) -- Illinois lawmakers are on the clock to come up with a concealed carry weapons law. Tuesday, the discussion began in earnest.

The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony from, and asked questions of, people on all sides of the gun-law issue.

Representative Jil Tracy of Quincy is on that committee.

Lobbyists with the National Rifle Association argue people have the right to carry a weapon.

In December, a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel said the state's ban on carrying a weapon in public was unconstitutional. (Read: "UPDATED: Court strikes down Illinois concealed carry ban"

They gave state lawmakers 180 days to draft new legislation.

"Let's be clear on this. I don't think a lot of people understand this. After 180 days, constitutional carry will set in. I think four other states in the nation have constitutional carry. That means if you have a valid FOID card in this state, you can carry pretty much anything you want, wherever you want," said Rep. Brandon Phelps, (D) Illinois 118th District.

Supporters of tighter laws say the bill should allow local authorities -- likely the county sheriff -- to deny a permit for several reasons.

The House will have another hearing on guns Friday in Chicago.

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