A concealed carry measure supported by the National Rifle Association was defeated in the Illinois House Thursday. It was the latest attempt by lawmakers to comply with a court order that they pass a law permitting people to carry guns in public.
Backers of the plan describe it as the strictest in the country. It would require anyone to undergo ten hours of training before they could be issued a gun permit. A portion of the $100 permit fee would be used to keep firearms away from the mentally ill. And guns would not be allowed in bars, or on college campuses.
Sponsor Brandon Phelps, a Democrat from Marion, says it would prevent crime, especially in Chicago, which has been racked by gun violence despite strict regulations.
"Because the criminals know they don't fear retaliation. That's why I don't think there's anything wrong with you being able to protect yourself and your family" Phelps said.
But Democratic Representative Kelly Cassidy of Chicago had a different take.
"The only hunting that's happening in my neighborhood is of young men. More guns aren't the answer to our gun problem in Chicago" Cassidy said.
Legislators have until June 9 to pass some form of a concealed carry law.