Bill To Allow Concealed Weapons Rejected By Illinois Senate

04/11/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A committee of the Illinois Senate has rejected a proposal to give Illinoisans the right to carry concealed weapons.

Senate Bill 1976 would allow county sheriff's to issue concealed carry permits to qualified gun owners. The idea was voted down by members of the Senate Public Health Committee, which is dominated by Chicago-area lawmakers.

State Sen. John Jones, a Mount Vernon Republican who sponsored the proposal, said he wasn't surprised by the rejection, given the makeup of the panel. Concealed carry efforts have long been supported by downstate lawmakers, but opposed by Chicago-area lawmakers.

The Senate's action makes passage of three similar bills making their way through the Illinois House doubtful. Jones said even if those proposals win House approval, they'd likely go nowhere in the Senate.