Bipartisan Firearms Working Group launched in Illinois - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Bipartisan Firearms Working Group launched in Illinois

Posted:
SPRINGFIELD (WREX) -

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon is spearheading a Firearms Working Group made up of freshman members of the Illinois General Assembly.

The goal of the group is to learn different perspectives and "bridge the geographical divide" on the ownership and use of guns in Illinois. State Senators and Representatives in the group represent constituents in urban, suburban, and rural districts. The group will discuss the gun control debate and meet with stakeholders on all sides of the issue.

Lawmakers are currently working on legislation in response to a three-member panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declaration that the state's ban on concealed carry was unconstitutional. The panel gave the state a deadline of 180 days to pass a law allowing concealed carry.

The Firearms Working Group will try to form a consensus on pending gun legislation. The group will host meetings both in Springfield and in communities around the state to meet with gun owners, hunters, families impacted by gun violence, domestic violence prevention advocates, mental health experts, members of law enforcement, and more. Members of the Illinois State Rifle Association and the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence are also scheduled to meet with the group to share their priorities for gun legislation. Group members will learn how to safely operate a firearm as well.

"State leaders need to engage in honest discussion about concealed carry, but it is difficult to have that honest discussion without fully understanding all the perspectives on gun issues," Lt. Governor Simon said. "By bringing together new members to learn about deeply held—often regional—perspectives, I believe we can set fair policies for the state and keep guns from falling into the wrong hands."

The group includes:

  • Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake)
  • Sen. Thomas Cullerton (D-Villa Park)
  • Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago)
  • Sen. Michael Hastings (D-Orland Park)
  • Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill)
  • Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield)
  • Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford)
  • Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon)
  • Rep. Scott Drury (D-Highwood)
  • Rep. Charles Meier (R-Highland)
  • Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago)
  • Rep. Mike Smiddy (D-Hillsdale)
  • Rep. Emanuel Welch (D-Hillside)
  • Rep. Kathleen Willis (D-Addison)
  • Rep. Sam Yingling (D-Round Lake Beach)

For more information on the group, visit www.ltgov.illinois.gov.

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