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Gun Enthusiasts Lobby In Springfield To Expand Conceal And Carry Laws

By aaroncynic in News on Mar 19, 2015 7:00PM

Image Credit: Keary O.
Gun enthusiasts converged on the Capitol yesterday for an annual rally and lobby day to urge lawmakers to expand conceal and carry laws.The State-Journal Register reports about 1,000 gun advocates, carrying signs calling areas that don’t allow concealed weapons “crime magnets” and “killing zones,” marched down Capitol Avenue before flooding the offices of legislators.

“These gun-free zones are imaginary circles that we draw around ourselves and pretend like a violent criminal or someone who is criminally insane cannot cross that line and hurt us,” said Valinda Rowe, spokesperson for, a forum for conceal and carry advocates.

Illinois was the last state to pass a conceal and carry law and has stricter rules as to where weapons are allowed. Firearms are prohibited in 23 zones, including hospitals, bars, churches and public transportation. Advocates say that paints a large target on those areas for “predators” and perhaps, the King of England. “Predators look for places people are unarmed,” Dawn Waters, a suburban firearms instructor told the Daily Herald. "Everyone there using public transportation, going to forest preserves, they're in trouble. They are sitting ducks.”

State representative Ed Sullivan has introduced a bill that would allow citizens to carry concealed weapons on public transit, while Rep. Brandon Phelps has introduced one that would allow concealed guns at rest stops. "A lot of people use public transportation," said Sullivan. "Why should they be less safe to defend themselves on public transportation than either at home or walking?"

Not everyone, however, is as enthusiastic about the idea of the person sitting next to them in the emergency room or on the bus carrying a loaded gun. Catherine Hosinski, a spokesperson for the CTA said:

“Allowing concealed firearms would put our customers and employees in danger because the chances of injuries — accidental or otherwise — increases dramatically and could endanger the lives of hundreds of passengers on a platform or dozens of customers on a crowded train or bus.”