News Local/State

Cullerton Spearheads Talks on Guns Compromise


Illinois Senate President John Cullerton is meeting with key lawmakers to attempt a compromise on legislation allowing people to carry concealed guns.

Spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon says Cullerton met earlier Wednesday with Senate and House members who have rival, but similar, measures.

Phelon says there are "core compromises'' that can be made to create an acceptable plan.

There's a divide over a few issues, including restrictions on carrying guns while drinking alcohol. Senator Kwame Raoul, a Chicago Democrat, said there is no deal yet.

"There may not be consensus on how to protect against, those who, may consumer alcohol and carry guns," he said  "I think there's agreement that we do have the desire to protect against that. So both sides realize we don't want drunk people carrying guns."
A top Senate committee voted Tuesday to reject a House-approved version that not only allows the public possession of weapons but invalidates all local ordinances on firearms, such as Chicago's assault-weapons ban.

The same committee advanced a plan by Senate Democrats that excludes the pre-emption of local laws and includes tighter restrictions on carrying guns while drinking alcohol.