State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), pictured here taking questions from reporters Friday at the Capitol, was unable to strike an agreement on his concealed-carry bill to move it through the Illinois Senate. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
SPRINGFIELD-A Senate effort to impose restrictive concealed-carry limits on Illinois gun owners failed to surface for a vote Friday as expected even after the legislation was changed to ease opposition from the National Rifle Association.
"One of the realities that I was keenly aware of when I entered this effort was that there are some extremists," said Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), sponsor of the gun-control measure. "There are some extremists with some very loyal followings, and they use intimidation as part of their advocacy efforts. And sometimes that intimidation is quite effective."
Both Raoul and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) had hinted at a full floor vote after the bill cleared a Senate panel on a 10-4 vote Thursday, but it became clear a consensus had not been reached by Friday.
The bill was at least partly short of votes due to NRA resistance over the legislation requiring Chicago police Supt. Garry McCarthy to vet all permit-seekers in Chicago and allowing local sheriffs to object to any permit application.
Raoul partly gave in to the NRA Friday by removing a part of his bill that would have required applicants to demonstrate "good moral character," a measure criticized for being too vague. But it wasn't enough to get the required 30 votes for passage, and Raoul didn't express a desire to concede much more.
"These are people who, you know, use aggressive advocacy efforts - legal advocacy efforts but aggressive advocacy efforts," Raoul said, alluding to the NRA. "People who rate you by grades as if you were in school."