NIU Victim's Mother: Let Locals Decide on Guns

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The mother of a victim of the deadly Northern Illinois University shootings five years ago is asking lawmakers to let local police decide who gets permits to carry concealed weapons.

Mary Kay Mace told the Illinois House Judiciary committee Tuesday that local law enforcement officials know their citizens and should be able to deny gun permits even if background checks don't show any problems.

Mace is the mother of Ryanne Mace, a 19-year-old from Carpentersville who was one of five students who were fatally shot on the DeKalb campus in February 2008.

A federal court has given Illinois until June to enact a concealed carry law as a 2nd Amendment right.

The committee will hear more testimony about guns in Chicago on Friday.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Opposing sides of the gun debate in Illinois are focusing on whether legislation allowing weapons to be carried publicly will apply to anyone who meets certain requirements or will be stricter.

The House Judiciary Committee listened to testimony all afternoon Tuesday. A federal court has instructed Illinois to join 49 other states in the U.S. and adopt a concealed-carry law by June.

Gun-rights advocates such as the National Rifle Association argue that the law should require issuing a concealed carry permit unless authorities can provide a strong reason why it shouldn't be granted.

But supporters of tighter laws say the law should allow local authorities -- likely the county sheriff -- to deny a permit for other reasons.

The House will have another hearing on guns Friday in Chicago.

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