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Illinois House Republicans file bills to waive conceal carry fees for veterans, repeal FOID card

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SPRINGFIELD (ILLINOIS CAPITOL BUREAU) -- There could be major changes coming for Illinois gun owners. Republican lawmakers have already filed multiple gun-related bills for the upcoming session.

One of the proposals would eliminate the FOID card. The other idea from Rep. Mike Murphy (R-IL) 99th District could waive the $150 fee for veterans registering for concealed carry licenses.

Murphy knows it won't be an easy bill to pass.

"There's not a lot of appetite right now to reduce fees or make it easier for people to get concealed carry or a FOID," said Murphy.

He filed the same bill last year, but it was never called for a hearing. Under Murphy's plan, veterans with marksmanship badges would still need to take a refresher class.

"I think this would have a chance because it is tied to somebody who served our country and put their life on the line," Murphy explained.

Springfield resident Doug Schmidgall's sons both served in the military and he supports Murphy's bill.

"If they were honorably discharged, they all know how to shoot a weapon," said Schmidgall. "That's what they did."

Schmidgall runs the Aim 2 Shoot concealed carry school on his farm. He is relieved Rep. John Cabello (R-IL) 68th District has filed a bill to repeal the FOID card.

"The FOID card is just a tax. You get your name on a list some place. It's not going to protect anybody," Schmidgall said.

Gun owners are also waiting for a ruling from the Illinois Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the FOID card. For now, Schmidgall and Murphy hope lawmakers will seriously consider the new FOID bill.

"I'd be open to debate and listen to people, but I think it would be a tough one to sell for me to say why Illinois needs a FOID card," Murphy said.

Cabello's bill to repeal the FOID Act is already gaining support from Republicans across the state.

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Mike Miletich

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