Springfield -- Illinois gun-rights backers still believe they have the upper hand after legislation allowing the possession of concealed guns failed.
But they're not going to walk away from negotiations despite a federal court's June 9 deadline for gun-shy Illinois to abandon its position as the last state in the nation to allow concealed carry.
Rep. Brandon Phelps is a southern Illinois Democrat who sponsored the concealed carry bill. It failed Thursday 64-45. It needed 71 votes.
Phelps had warned his colleagues that blowing the deadline set by the 7th Circuit U.S. Appeals Court would usher in a system without rules.
Phelps said Friday it's better for everyone if lawmakers set up rules. He might recall his bill later this month.
The bill is HB997.
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