Lawmakers Want You to Pack Heat

Two concealed gun bills more forward in Illinois House

A state House panel is recommending that the General Assembly give Illinois residents the right to carry concealed weapons.

The two proposals are expected to garner opposition from Chicago-area lawmakers, who have expressed concern about increased gun violence.

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last summer overturning a handgun ban in Washington D.C., and an endorsement of concealed carry by the Illinois Sheriffs' Association has given a boost to supporters of a concealed weapon law.

House Bill 245, sponsored by Marion Democratic Rep. John Bradley, would allow the Illinois State Police to issue the permits. It was endorsed Wednesday on an 11-1 vote, with Democratic state Rep. Julie Hamos of Evanston the lone opponent.

House Bill 462, sponsored by state Harrisburg Rep. Brandon Phelps, would allow county sheriffs to issue permits.

Obviously gun ownership continues to be one of the hottest issues around.  Where do you come down on it?  Would more guns in the hands of everyday people reduce crime, or result in more shooting deaths -- or both?  What about accidental shootings in the home?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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