SPRINGFIELD—The Illinois House overwhelmingly rejected a concealed carry measure today in an emotional test vote on the controversial gun legislation.
The legislation emerged in the form of an amendment that was modeled after a highly restrictive New York gun law.
The bill drew support from a number of gun control advocates but failed on a 31-76 roll call, with six lawmakers voting present.
The state’s regional differences were on full display as fellow Democrats who control the legislature argued for and against the proposal.
“More guns are not the answer to the city’s gun violence problem,” said Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a North Side Democrat who sponsored the amendment.
But Rep. Brandon Phelps of the southern Illinois community of Harrisburg called on lawmakers to reject the Cassidy bill and throw support to a less-restrictive proposal he is pushing.
The chamber erupted into shouts between lawmakers competing to be heard.
Rep. Scott Drury, a Democrat from Highwood and a former federal prosecutor, criticized an outburst from Republican Rep. Mike Bost of Murphysboro, who was shouting his displeasure about the legislation moving so quickly.
“Here’s my point, members,” Drury said about Bost. “We don’t want someone like that carrying a concealed weapon.”
The comments prompted another burst of shouting from both sides.
Illinois lawmakers face a court-ordered deadline to enact a law legalizing concealed carry before they finish their spring session.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun