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Northern Illinois County Pushes For Conceal And Carry Ordinance

By aaroncynic in News on Oct 19, 2012 9:30PM

A county in northern Illinois could become the proving groups for Illinois’ first ever conceal and carry ordinance if gun rights advocates have their way. The Chicago Tribune reports officials in Winnebago County have scheduled two hearings this month to debate a proposed ordinance which would allow people to carry concealed weapons within the county. Officials wrote the proposed ordinance after receiving a petition with 11,000 signatures.

Even though State’s Attorney Joseph Bruscato, who supports conceal and carry permits, sent a letter to the county board stating that the county could not create its own gun laws, the board is going ahead with the hearings anyway. Board member Jim Webster, who wrote the ordinance, told the Tribune:

“The people are telling us that it’s about time we did something. Our founding fathers weren’t wimps. They knew what they were doing when they wrote the Second Amendment.”

About 50 people attended the first of the two hearings to support the ordinance. Local resident Cheryl Edwards told board members that a neighbor “opened fire” on her with a pellet gun, but police did not respond in time. Edwards also said she was shot in a drive-by shooting recently. At the hearing, she told the board “it would mean so much to know that I have the right to protect myself.”

Eric Sonnerberg, who owns a gun shop in Rockford, also supports the ordinance. Sonnerberg called Illinois a “magnet for every bad guy in the country,” saying the lack of conceal and carry is “why our crime rate is growing through the roof.” Other people however, are concerned that conceal and carry permits could make things worse. Robert King from CeaseFire in Rockford told the Tribune:

"We understand the need to find a solution to the violence around us. But what you’re going to do is push people toward vigilantism. You’re going to make a bad situation even worse."