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Illinois House takes more 'test-votes' on concealed carry

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SPRINGFIELD-With a federal court's deadline hanging over them, Illinois House members Wednesday debated concealed-carry measures for the third straight week in another series of up-or-down "test votes."

The House adopted measures that would require gun-owners to report lost or stolen firearms, register firearms within 90 days of a bill's passage, and lock up their firearms if there is a possibility someone with mental issues or a criminal history could access them.

However, none of the measures move to the governor's desk until both chambers of the General Assembly pass them in a comprehensive bill, which is likely to include more additions. Among the day's failed measures was a ban on ammunition magazine clips holding more than 10 rounds, which failed by two votes after taking up nearly two hours of debate.

The hours of discussion took place as part of House Speaker Michael Madigan's (D-Chicago) "weekly order of business," which he has used the last three weeks in search for a concealed-carry framework. And for the third straight week, Republicans decided not to vote on the measures due to what many of them consider a fruitless, political process.

"So what are you really after?" House Republican leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) asked Democrats. "Are you after solving problems? Do you really want to [solve Chicago's violence problem] or do you want to play these sick, senseless games week in and week out?"

But the pressure is on because the Legislature has until June 9 to pass a concealed-carry bill since a U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in December struck down the state's ban on concealed carry.

"I think were moving in the right direction," Madigan told reporters Wednesday when asked about the process. However, the speaker remained quiet on exactly what measures he'd like to see in a final bill.

"I'm not going to comment on that because I'll wait to see how it works through the House," he said.

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