Some Will board members want to address concealed carry issue
By Cindy Wojdyla Cain firstname.lastname@example.org January 4, 2013 5:16PM
Updated: February 7, 2013 6:37AM
JOLIET — At least two Will County Board members think the board should weigh in on the state’s concealed carry gun debate.
Steve Balich, R-Homer Glen, said Friday that he brought the issue up at Thursday’s legislative committee meeting.
“We’re the only state in the union that doesn’t allow concealed carry,” gun enthusiast Balich said.
Board member Don Moran, D-Romeoville, who is president of the Illinois State Rifle Association, agreed to look at Balich’s proposal and help write a resolution. The issue could be on the judicial committee’s Feb. 5 agenda.
On Dec. 11, a federal appeals court ruled against the state’s concealed carry weapons ban. The court gave the Legislature 180 days to write a law legalizing the right to carry a concealed weapon.
Balich, who said he carried a handgun when he lived in Arizona, believes having an armed citizenry could help prevent some of the violence that is gripping the city of Chicago.
“The state is trying to take away or restrict in a big way our Second Amendment rights that we are guaranteed by the Constitution,” he said. “We in Will County, don’t want our Second Amendment rights taken away.”
Balich, who was newly elected to the county board in November, said he’s happy to work with Democrats to get his resolution passed by the board, which is tied 13-13 between the two parties.
“You know me,” he said. “I’m a right-wing conservative Republican. But why not partner with Democrats. It’s about getting the right thing done. It’s just common sense.”
Moran, who also favors concealed carry, agrees.
“A lot of people think the firearms thing is partisan,” Moran said. “In Illinois it’s more geographical. South of Interstate 80 and west of Route 47, most of the legislators are pro gun.”
While the county board would have no power to enact a concealed carry ordinance that would conflict with the state’s, Moran said the board still could take a stand.
“I don’t think it hurts anything. We know better how our constituents feel about issues.”