Springfield, Ill. (AP) -- Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is inviting new lawmakers from across Illinois to work with her on a concealed carry law.
A federal appeals court panel ruled last month that Illinois' ban on concealed weapons is unconstitutional. Attorney General Lisa Madigan is appealing the ruling. But lawmakers still face a 180-day deadline to pass a bill legalizing concealed carry.
Simon says she wants new legislators from both parties to join her firearms working group.
Illinois lawmakers tend to split along geographic rather than party lines on gun issues, with Democrats from outside Chicago aligning with Republicans.
Simon says as a Democrat from downstate Carbondale she hopes to help lawmakers find common ground.
She says the group will hear from people with many perspectives on gun issues and discuss other firearms legislation.