Richard Pearson (right) director of the Illinois State Rifle Association and Mark Walsh (left) of the Illinois Campaign against Handgun Violence have mixed views about the passing of a concealed-carry bill. (WJBC file photo)
By Dave Dahl
SPRINGFIELD - Eight weeks remain in Illinois’ legislative session, and lawmakers are supposed to pass a concealed-carry bill. It could take every day available to get it done.
“I look at this as kind of like labor negotiations,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. “Why is nothing settled till two minutes before midnight? Because we don’t have to.”
While Pearson wants Illinois’ law to require anybody who passes a background check and a qualifying test to get a concealed-carry permit, Mark Walsh of the Illinois Campaign against Handgun Violence said local authorities should have the say over who can carry. “In New York City, it’s very easy to say, ‘oh, it’s just the friends of the mayor that are getting permits.’ What they also have is (a requirement that) you have to show a need, not a want.”
The attorney general has indicated she is awaiting the legislature’s move before deciding whether to appeal the federal ruling which tossed out Illinois’ concealed-carry ban. Illinois is the only state with an outright ban on concealed carry.