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Concealed Carry Debate at the Capitol
The debate is heating up over who should be allowed to carry concealed weapons in Illinois, and where. Two dozen different proposals were discussed.
Lawmakers have approved about a half dozen pieces of a proposed concealed carry law, and they have close to two dozen more to discuss tonight.
So far, the state law would ban people from carrying concealed weapons in schools, child care facilities, state buildings, police stations, gaming facilities, hospitals, mental health centers and libraries.
The proposed law is divided into 27 parts, or amendments, brought forward by separate lawmakers.
House Speaker Michael Madigan set up this rarely used process that many are criticizing.
"Why can't we do this right? We're the laughing stock of the nation. We're not talking about pensions today. We're not talking about budgets today. It's gun week here at the state capitol," said Representative Dennis Reboletti, a Republican from Addison.
"I think there's politics being played by both sides right now to be honest with you. A lot of people think if they vote on some of this, it will be used against them in a political campaign," said Representative Brandon Phelps, a Democrat from Harrisburg.
The clock is ticking to pass a concealed carry law. The general assembly has until early June to write one under a federal court ruling.
Once lawmakers vote on the separate amendments, lawmakers would need to take a vote on the entire concealed carry law. If they're able to agree on it, then it would head to the Senate.
Two ideas were floated by lawmakers and have not been discussed yet. One includes requiring gun owners to pass 20 hours of firearm classroom training and 20 hours of live exercise. Another would require anyone with a handgun to maintain a one million dollar liability insurance policy.