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McCann Proposes Constitutional Amendment for Gun Rights

The status of concealed carry is still up in the air here in Illinois. Now, one senator wants to amend the state constitution to include the right to carry firearms.

Right now, Illinois is still the only state in the country that completely bans citizens from carrying firearms. Back in December, a federal judge ordered lawmakers to pass a concealed-carry measure within 180 days.

The judge said the state's ban on concealed carry violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Since that ruling, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has asked the entire Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to review the ruling.

With little to no action on the measure so far at the Capitol, Sen. Sam McCann, a Republican from Carlinville, is proposing to not only strengthen gun rights through legislation, but also by amending the Illinois Constitution.

His proposal would also deal with President Obama's push for an assault weapons ban.

"This constitutional amendment would also prevent the federal government from banning weapons here in the state as well," McCann said. "Again, it would be a true affirmation of the Second Amendment as it currently stands, not as it might be interpreted on down the road."

As far as legislation, McCann said he's planning to introduce a traditional concealed carry measure, as well as a bill to allow what he refers to as "constitutional carry." That would allow citizens to carry firearms without any special licensing or permit, but a background check would still be required to purchase any guns.

The Illinois Constitution already mentions firearm ownership. It reads: "Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Some gun rights groups have argued that wording alone should allow for concealed carry.