Metro-East News

Bill would have eased concealed-carry licensing for Scott AFB personnel. It failed.

A proposal that called for allowing nonresident, active-duty military personnel to more easily obtain concealed-carry gun permits has failed in an Illinois House subcommittee.

The proposal was filed by state Rep. Charlie Meier, R-Okawville, and called for allowing nonresident, active-duty members and their spouses living in Illinois to obtain a concealed-carry license the same way state residents can if they are based in Illinois.

The legislation also called for allowing non-resident military service members to pay the same license and renewal fees as Illinois residents.

Non-residents who obtain a concealed-carry license have to pay $300 for a five-year permit. Illinois residents have to pay $150.

Also, state law already requires any person who wishes to obtain a concealed-carry permit to undergo 16 hours of firearm training by an instructor approved by the State Police.

Meier said the legislation would be helpful to service members stationed at Scott Air Force Base.

State Rep. Charlie Meier, R-Okawville

“I have been pushing for this bill ever since ISIS put out their hit list on our current and former service members,” Meier said. “Our veterans put their lives at risk to protect our freedom, it’s common sense that we allow them to protect themselves and their family when they are in public.”

The House's Judiciary Criminal Law Committee formally tabled the proposal after the Firearms and Firearm Safety subcommittee voted 3-2 to recommend the bill not pass. Two representatives from Chicago and one from Waukegan voted against the bill. All three were Democrats. The two representatives who voted in support are Republicans.

Meier's proposal has metro-east legislators as co-sponsors: Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton; Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville; Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea; and Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis.

“I won’t give up trying to make this bill become law — we owe it to our veterans," Meier said. "This bill has bipartisan support; it even passed the Illinois Senate last year. It’s a common-sense bill to help those who protect us by offering them their constitutional right to protect themselves and their families from danger.”

View a primer for handling small firearms whether the guns are concealed, open carried, used on the firing range or in the home.