Representative David Reis (R-Ste. Marie) was recently joined in Springfield by White County resident Valinda Rowe to provide testimony before the House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee. Reis and Rowe discussed SB 1524, a bill to ease concealed carry restrictions on active duty military members.
“The way the law reads now, nonresident active military personnel who are stationed in Illinois cannot apply for a concealed carry permit,” Reis said. “These are the same individuals who are defending our country yet they cannot defend themselves with a concealed carry option.”
Illinois does not offer reciprocity or recognition of concealed carry licenses with any other state. In order to carry a concealed firearm in Illinois, a non-law enforcement individual must hold an Illinois Concealed Carry License.
Reis says SB 1524 would simply allow these military personnel the right to apply for a concealed carry permit just like Illinois residents.
“We trust our soldiers to carry weapons in defense of our country. These folks should not be denied the right to an Illinois permit because of an unintended consequence of our four year old law,” Reis said.
Reis says the purpose of the subject matter hearing was to educate the members of the Committee on the need for a change in Illinois law. The bill remains in Committee awaiting a vote as end of session discussions continue.
The legislation can be found at www.ilga.gov