Misguided editorial on HB0997
Your April 22 editorial had many inaccuracies and mistakes. You mischaracterized HB0997, a bill sponsored by Rep. Brandon Phelps and received 64 votes toward passage. This was a carefully negotiated bill that would've been the most restrictive "shall issue" law in the country.
It included requirements like eight hours of training, $100 fee, background checks and fingerprints, tight restrictions on where guns would be and wouldn't be allowed, options for schools, libraries and colleges to decide gun policy for themselves.
You stated you wanted more local control, HB0997 also would've allowed local sheriffs and police the option to object, with good reason, to the issuing of a carry permit. What more restrictions does the Daily Herald want?
We cannot exempt any more public places then was already exempted in the bill, to exempt much more would be to basically nullify the right. What good is a law to allow concealed carry in public and then you exempt all places in public? We cannot "carve out" Chicago and Cook County; laws must apply equally all across the state of Illinois.
Or was the real problem that the NRA backs HB0997? Have we so demonized law-abiding gun owners in this country that even when a good bill is backed by the NRA the media MUST oppose it?
What the state of Illinois needs is a good "shall issue" concealed carry law, like 38 other states have. Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana, have much less restrictive "shall issue" concealed carry laws with no special "carve out" for their big cities and this law works very well in those states.
The Daily Herald should support HB0997, a good "shall issue" concealed carry bill that will serve Illinois and its citizens well.
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