- Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013 04:33 PM
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) joined other downstate lawmakers in signing on as a co-sponsor to the Family and Personal Protection Act, Senate Bill 1284 – a bill that would allow licensed residents to carry a handgun on them or in their vehicle.
Both Democratic and Republican senators have joined together to help push for the passage of SB 1284.
Illinois is the only state that does not have some form of concealed carry. However, that is subject to change following the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in December that the state’s ban on carrying a weapon in public is unconstitutional and gave lawmakers 180 days to pass a concealed-carry bill.
“The court’s decision was a win for gun rights advocates who have argued that the ban on concealed weapons violates the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment,” Manar said. “Illinois will no longer be the outlier when the General Assembly passes a concealed-carry bill.”
The bill does have some restrictions on where license holders may carry guns without written permission and other requirements including: applicants to be at least 21 years old, have a Firearm Owner’s Identification card and proof of National Rifle Association or equivalent firearms training. Applicants also must pass a criminal background check and have no documented history of mental illness or alcohol abuse.
“I believe the time has come for the General Assembly to craft a reasonable law to allow law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment right,” Manar said. “The bill does include necessary precautions to ensure that licenses are granted only to responsible gun owners. I think the majority of gun owners agree that certain measures, like criminal background checks, are necessary for public safety.”
A similar bill was also introduced in the House.