New Springfield guns plan gets Rifle Association backing

Updated 6/22/2016 9:53 PM

State-level gun legislation in response to the Orlando attacks has emerged in Illinois, led by a Chicago Democrat and more than one suburban Republican.

The new proposal in Springfield would let the Illinois State Police notify the FBI if someone on a terrorist watch list applies to get a Firearm Owners Identification card needed in the state to own a gun. It would add people involved in terrorist threats to the list of those who can have such a card denied or revoked.


State Rep. Greg Harris, a Chicago Democrat, said he'd been working on the plan since before this month's Orlando attacks because of previous killings in San Bernadino, California, and elsewhere.

"There were not good mechanisms in place to become alert to those warning signs," Harris said.

The lead Republican on the plan is state Rep. Ed Sullivan, a Mundelein Republican and key negotiator of the Illinois law that allows people to carry concealed weapons in public. The Illinois State Rifle Association's leader says he's OK with the plan if it doesn't change.

"It helps, but it's not overly intrusive into gun owners' rights," ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson said.

It faces some procedural hurdles, though, if lawmakers want to act quickly. The plan would take several days to approve, but state lawmakers haven't met in Springfield since May 31 even though the impacts of their ongoing state budget war are set to escalate next week.

Still, state Rep. Ron Sandack, a Downers Grove Republican, said Harris has negotiated with Second Amendment supporters like Sullivan and him in order to find a plan that can win approval in the otherwise divided Capitol.

"I don't think this pinches any constituency in any way," Sandack said.

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