Another county allows concealed-carry

Published 06/12 2013 06:11PM

Updated 06/12 2013 06:25PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Another county official is giving the okay for people to carry concealed firearms even though it's not legal yet. Three counties have jumped the gun.

McLean County was the first. Last week, the state's attorney in the East St. Louis area said he would not prosecute for concealed carry. Now Randolph County, also in Southern Illinois, is joining the bandwagon.

Some lawmakers are worried about safety. They're afraid it's going to cause a lot of problems. Illinois has been waiting years for a law to allow concealed-carry. It's the only state that doesn't have one.

But now, by federal court order, Illinois is less than one month away from having one in the books. However, some say they've waited long enough. Randall County's State's Attorney is the third one to say he's turning a blind eye to gun owners who want to carry in his area.

"I don't blame them. I don't blame them one bit," says State Representative Brandon Phelps.

He's been pushing concealed-carry for years. Phelps says he knows people are frustrated at having to wait for Governor Pat Quinn to sign the bill, but he thinks going against the rules isn't helping.

"The longer he lets this go, the more counties and towns are going to do their own ordinances, and that's what we don't want," says Phelps. "You're going to have all these different areas that are going to have all these different rules. There's going be too much uncertainty; too much total mayhem."

For example, the statewide deal lawmakers passed requires training and testing before a person can carry a loaded gun. Randolph County doesn't include that law.

"The longer you let this linger the more people are going be in trouble," says Phelps. "It just takes one person to shoot somebody or themselves or something. That's why there has to be a law."

Phelps says it's really going to be a mess when the state law goes into full swing, which could be months. If residents grow accustom to one set of rules now, they're going to have to change it all down the road. The state law is going to be a lot stricter than what the counties say is okay.

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