Raoul: ‘Extremists’ Delay Senate Gun-Carry Bill
By The Associated Press, with addtional reporting from Illinois Public Radio
An Illinois senator is blaming unnamed "extremists'' who oppose legislation to restrict the possession of concealed guns for delaying a vote on the issue.
Chicago Democratic Sen. Kwame Raoul sought a vote on his concealed-carry bill Friday before the Senate adjourned for the weekend.
But he told reporters "extremists'' he would not identify used "intimidation'' among "aggressive advocacy'' tactics to oppose the bill. He appeared to be referring to the National Rifle Association.
NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde says he has had low-key conversations with senators about what he calls Raoul's flawed bill. Vandermyde says he hasn't "raised my voice to anybody on this.''
Raoul's plan still requires applicants to have a “proper reason'' to carry, but he has removed a portion that would require applicants to show they have "good moral character."
Meanwhile, Champaign Democratic Sen. Mike Frerichs says he’s told constituents the last seven years that this is a right they have, and this bill gives it to them.
But the Senator wouldn’t commit to supporting Senator Raoul’s measure yet.
"I anticipate where I will be," he said. "(But) I don’t want to say yes before the debate is finished.”
Mahomet Republican Sen. Chapin Rose, who backs the idea of concealed carry, says any measure should also include a 30-state permit that would help those who carry a weapon across state lines.
Raoul says he doesn't know when he'll call the measure for a vote.