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Gun shop owner: Concealed guns might make Chicago more polite

Dexter L. Clark 41 Chicago gives his opinifederal appeals court Chicago tossing out state’s ban carrying concealed weapons telling Illinois

Dexter L. Clark, 41, of Chicago, gives his opinion on a federal appeals court in Chicago tossing out the state’s ban on carrying concealed weapons and telling Illinois lawmakers to craft a new law allowing concealed carry within 180 days. He spoke outside Chuck's Gun Shop in Riverdale. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

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Updated: January 13, 2013 11:16AM



Now that strangers won’t know who is legally packing heat, Don Mastrianni thinks Illinois is about to become a nicer place.

“If anything, people may be more polite,” Mastrianni, the owner of Illinois Gun Works in Elmwood Park, said about the federal court ruling tossing out Illinois’ ban on concealed guns. “People in Chicago and its surrounding area really are not that polite and I’m wondering now if this might have an effect on that … someone could be carrying concealed — you never know who you’re going to come across on the street.”

And the bad guys who have been carrying guns illegally might think twice about that stick-up they were planning, gun enthusiasts said Tuesday.

“If a lot of the criminals know that we’re able to carry … you’d have a lot less stick-ups and robberies,” said Keith Jordan after he ordered bullets at Chuck’s Gun Shop in Riverdale. “It will make me feel like at least I’m an even match.”

“Criminals shouldn’t be the only ones running around with weapons,” agreed Shawn Fuller, a DJ from University Park who stopped by Chuck’s to use the gun range.

Many of the customers stopping by the shop said it would make them feel safer to carry their guns — and they planned to do so just as soon as it became legal.

“We should have the right to bear arms and protect our family and friends,” said Dexter L. Clark, a butcher from Englewood who will carry his Glock .45 if legally allowed to. “It would make me feel more comfortable.”

While the workers at Chuck’s declined to speak about the ruling, Fred Lutger, the owner of Freddie Bear Sports in Tinley Park, praised the decision.

“We were the only state to not allow concealed carry. It’s amazing. It’s mind boggling to think our politicians thought 49 states were wrong, and we were right,” he said.

Shop owners believe business will boom once the new law is in place. And Mastrianni hopes some of the growth will come from new training mandates he believes will be required once the state passes its conceal and carry law.

While it will be good for business, “it’s not a bad thing for people,” he said.“I have never recommended people buy a gun, load it and stick it under their pillow.”

Meanwhile, at Mastrianni’s shop, business has been good anyway.

“I’ve been selling guns faster than I can get them in,” he said.

Among the customers concerned about safety, there’s been those worried about the president’s re-election, Mayan prophesies of the end of the world and zombies.

Contributing: Steve Metsch



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