WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Concealed Carry & Open Government

Jun 17, 2013

The concealed carry legislation approved late last month by the Illinois General Assembly creates a seven-member board to review applications from people who want to be able to carry a gun in public.

Under the measure, that board would be exempt from the state's Freedom of Information Act. That means the board's records and activities would be off-limits to the public.

This is about shining more light on government and how they act

The board would also not be included in the Open Meetings Act, which has upset groups such as the Illinois Press Association.

The IPA’s Josh Sharp said the group is concerned about open government, and is not interested in applicants' personal information, like how many guns they own.

“This is about shining more light on government and how they act, rather than applicants for these licenses," Sharp said. 

The measure's sponsor, State Representative Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg), said he understands those concerns, and he's willing to introduce follow-up legislation to fix them.  Phelps said his priority is making sure sensitive information is kept private. Such information could include the names of applicants who get rejected.

Illinois is under a court order to have a concealed carry law by July 9.  

Governor Pat Quinn is still reviewing the bill.