The Madison County State's Attorney has stated he won't prosecute those in violation of the state's current ban on concealed weapons. WCIA-3's Alexandrea Davis keeps us Connected to the Capitol.
"The laws aren't going to stop people from doing what they're doing. People are going to carry weapons."
Rick Pyatt, a gun owner and retiree from the Madison County Sheriff's Department, says the State's Attorney is using common sense.
"I agree with it."
Illinois now has until July 9 to get a concealed-carry law on the books. But, Madison County State's Attorney Thomas Gibbons is moving forward, allowing residents in his county a chance to carry concealed now. Gibbons says he's in favor of concealed-carry legislation, but if Governor Quinn doesn't sign a bill into law, residents in his county will not have to follow a ban.
"They certainly don't want me to be wasting taxpayer money prosecuting cases that I know will never result in a conviction."
He began putting a list of guidelines together in December after the initial federal court mandate was issued. If law-abiding residents in his county meet those provisions, they can carry loaded, concealed firearms.
"I think it's my obligation as a prosecutor, and each citizen's obligation, to make sure that we're respecting each other's rights and that we're doing everything we can within reasonably, legal means to protect and defend the rights of all citizens, no matter what right it may be."
Gibbons says if a concealed-carry bill becomes law, he will direct residents in his county to follow it once it takes effect. So far, Gibbons says he's dismissed two cases with unlawful use of weapons. One was a felony, the other a misdemeanor.
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