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Illinois Republican congressmen differ on national concealed carry reciprocity

SPRINGFIELD/WASHINGTON (Illinois News Network) — Members of Illinois’ Republican congressional delegation differ on whether every state in the nation should accept other states’ concealed carry permit holders.

The so-called Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act passed the House earlier this month. The measure would allow law-abiding citizens with a concealed-carry permit in one state to carry in another state without breaking the law.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, who represents a more rural area in central Illinois, said the bill is similar to drivers license reciprocity.

“There are different requirements for drivers and driver training for each individual state, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drive through a different state with the license you have,” Davis, R-Taylorville, said.

U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, who lives in densely populated Wheaton, said he supports gun owners’ rights, but this bill went too far.

“You could have a situation where there’s no requirements whatsoever to get a concealed-carry permit in another state and then that concealed-carry permit holder would be allowed to carry in Illinois,” Roskam, R-Wheaton, said. “It just didn’t make any sense to me. I opposed it. It passed nevertheless.”

Davis said following the mass shooting incident he was trapped in this summer, this issue is personal for him.

“There’s a reason why many of us that were on the baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, in June weren’t able to carry our own protection,” Davis said. “It’s because of the differing laws between Washington D.C. and Virginia and how you get that firearm from Point A to Point B.”

Davis was on a baseball field at the time U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, and four others were shot and injured. Scalise has recovered from his injuries. The gunman in that incident was killed on the scene by a security detail who was there only because of Scalise’s position as majority whip and third-ranking GOP congressman.

States across the country have a web of different requirements for concealed-carry licensing that Davis said the reciprocity bill would fix while not having an impact on Illinois’ strict concealed-carry training standards.

Illinois was the last state to get concealed carry after being mandated by the courts following round after round of legal losses. The state’s concealed-carry law doesn’t recognize any other state’s concealed-carry permit holders.

The measure has been sent to the U.S. Senate.

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Illinois Republican congressmen differ on national concealed carry reciprocity