Some Lawmakers Eye Changes to Concealed Carry Law

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- When Illinois’ concealed carry law went on the books less than a year ago, it became the strictest in the country and now, as more gun owners receive their permits, some politicians want to make the law even tougher.

While the number of gun owners in Illinois with a concealed carry permit continues to climb, so does the number of proposals to change the state's concealed weapon law.

"This year there's probably been close to 40 different bills introduced. A number of those add more restrictions to a program that just started," says Senator Dave Syverson, R-35th. “These are law abiding citizens that it’s worked in 49 other states. so we'll find over the next year is that there won't be problems and this so called wild west that people said it was going to be is not going to happen."

One measure would make owners register every weapon they own, an idea that doesn't sit well with RSM Firearms instructor Timothy Burgess.

"It's too restrictive for the people that do want to carry. The offender, he doesn't have the restrictions, he doesn't have the FOID, he doesn't have to follow any rules and regulations. But it is imperative that we be responsible for that pistol and the rounds in it," says Timothy Burgess.

Other measures would try to loosen restrictions and allow for guns at parks or on public transportation. Another proposal would cut the required training hours in half from 16 to 8. If any changes are made, Burgess would like to see a drop in the permit fees.

"At $150 a pop, I'd say that's pretty high. I'd like to see the state come down to $100 to $125, since it is everyone’s right to carry under the second amendment," says Burgess.

State Senator Steve Stadelman says this law was created through a compromise and it’s too soon to start making revisions.

“At this point I think we should hold off on any additional legislation. Let’s implement the program first and down the road if we need to make any changes we'll review it then,” says State Senator Steve Stadelman, D-34th.

Illinois State Police say they've gotten about 49,000 applications so far and expect a total of 300,000 to be filed this year.

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