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Downstate Lawmaker: Politics, Economy Have Meant More FOID Cards

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) -- An Illinois lawmaker says state politics and the economy have helped increase the number of FOID card registrations over the past year.

WBBM Newsradio's Alex Degman reports the state recorded more than 78,000 FOID card registrations in 2011, which brings the total number of Illinois card carriers to roughly 1.4 million. State Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg), a long-time proponent of concealed carry legislation, says the recession might have something to do with it.

"I think you're seeing a lot of people that are more or less breaking into places, and I think people just want to be able to protect themselves and their families," says Phelps. "I'm going to talk to the state police to find out where the biggest increases were."

Phelps says Wisconsin's concealed carry legislation, plus a U.S. Supreme Court order striking down Chicago's handgun ban, also could contribute to the higher numbers. He wants data from the state police to verify that.

Phelps' concealed carry measure fell a few votes shy last spring, before it was pulled before the vote could be recorded. Phelps says he'll likely call it again in March or April.

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