Objections from urban-area lawmakers failed to stop a measure Wednesday that would allow citizens who break city gun ownership laws to avoid fines incurred while using firearms in self-defense.
The Illinois House passed legislation 86-25 that was inspired by the case of a Wilmette man who shot an intruder last December with a gun forbidden by local law.
Now bound for the state Senate, the legislation would allow people accused of owning forbidden guns to be found innocent if a judge believes their weapon was used in self-defense, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
“It is a right for us as citizens of Illinois to protect our homes,” said Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion), the bill’s chief House sponsor.
But opponents worried that the measure, pushed by the National Rifle Association, would strip the teeth from local handgun bans, such as Wilmette’s, and could usher in an era where it is legal for gun owners to carry their weapons concealed when they are in public places.
“If you vote for this bill, you will be authorizing a back-door attempt by the NRA to get conceal-and-carry in Illinois,” said Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston).