Debate: Allow concealed weapons to be carried in Illinois?

The debate is on in Illinois.

Gov. Pat Quinn's vow to veto legislation allowing Illinois residents to carry concealed firearms in public did not dissuade a House committee from passing the concealed carry bill.

I don TMt think that TMs an embedded constitutional right, Quinn said of concealed carry to The State Journal-Register .

Illinois and Wisconsin are the only two states that don't allow licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons.

Illinois' lawmakers' bid to change that passed 12-1 in the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee.

Under the proposal for concealed weapons in Illinois, a person first would apply to a local sheriff. The sheriff, who has the right to object, would have 30 days to send the application to the Illinois State Police for review. Without objections, the state police would have about 45 days to sign off.

To be eligible, a person would need to be at least 21, hold a state firearms owner identification card, take an eight-hour class on the use of force and possess shooting-range qualifications, NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde said.

While we were at Heartland Lodge Wednesday, we asked its owner, Gary Harpole the issue.

Harpole says he supports the legislation.

Harpole says, "The criminals are the ones who have the guns. They are not going to be going by the law. The law abiding citizens that are going by the law, and they can't be carrying a puts us at an extreme disadvantage."

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