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Will County panel endorses concealed-carry measure

Updated: April 14, 2013 6:35AM



After a lengthy debate, the Will County Board’s legislative committee approved a resolution Tuesday endorsing concealed carry in Illinois.

Forty citizens, mostly pro concealed carry, signed up to speak on the topic of whether or not state residents should be allowed to carry weapons outside of their homes.

Proponents say the vote is intended as a message to the state Legislature, which is working on a new concealed carry law. On Dec. 11, a federal appeals court ruled against the state’s concealed-carry weapons ban.

The court gave the Legislature until June 9 to legalize the right to carry a concealed weapon.

While some county board members believe the board shouldn’t tackle the issue because it’s a state matter, others said they wanted legislators to know how they felt about the issue.

In the end, committee member Reed Bible, D-Plainfield, was the lone no vote. He tried twice to block the measure or get it postponed, but was outvoted by fellow committee members Don Moran, D-Romeoville, who is president of the Illinois Rifle Association; Chairman Bob Howard, D-Beecher; Liz Collins, R-Plainfield; and Steve Balich, R-Homer Glen. Balich was the driving force behind the resolution with assistance from Moran.

Sheriff Paul Kaupas spoke in favor of concealed carry “with limitations.” Any new law should include background checks, classroom instruction and limits on where citizens can carry guns, he said.

But it’s time Illinois join the rest of the country, he added.

“Forty-nine states have it,” he said. “Illinois doesn’t. And I can safely say the 49 states that have it have a lot less problems than Illinois does.”

The full county board will vote on the advisory resolution during its next meeting which begins at 9:30 a.m. March 21 at 302 N. Chicago St.



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