ILLINOIS (WIFR) -- Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan announced on Thursday that the House Judiciary Committee will convene public hearings later this month on the issue of expanding gun safety laws and reviewing the recent federal court ruling concerning the unlawful use of weapons.
Last December, a federal appeals court struck down Illinois' law on the unlawful use of weapons, requiring the state to adopt a law allowing residents to carry firearms in some form. Just three days later, a gunman carrying a semi-automatic rifle and two pistols murdered 20 schoolchildren and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut.
The court ruling and the incident at Sandy Hook emphasize the need to review Illinois law with an eye toward either making gun ownership and possession less cumbersome on law-abiding citizens or toughening firearm restrictions to better limit gun violence.
The first House Judiciary Committee hearing will be held Tuesday, February 19, at 12 p.m. in Room 114 of the State Capitol in Springfield. A second hearing will take place Friday, Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. in the sixth floor committee room of the Michael A. Bilandic Building in Chicago. Advocates concerned with all aspects of the firearms issue will be invited to testify.