In Illinois, Concealed Carry Of Guns Has Quiet First Year; Expansion Sought

 

 

Concealed carry in Illinois (infographic)

Click pic for interactive map of concealed carry holders

 

 

” Keith Hearn was getting out of his car in front of his home in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood when, as he tells it, police pulled up and told him he had committed a minor traffic offense.

  Hearn, 34, has a concealed-carry license and said he voluntarily told the officers he had a handgun on him. Nonetheless, he said officers arrested him and took him to their station, claiming his gun was partly showing. After checking, he said, police found the concealed-carry law allows a gun to be “mostly” concealed, and let him go without charges.

” I was disgusted,” Hearn said. “Why was I arrested, handcuffed in front of my neighborhood, when I didn’t break any laws?”

  Hearn is among about 92,000 people who got licenses to carry a hidden gun in public last year in Illinois — the last state in the union to legalize “concealed carry,” as it’s called. Since it went into effect more than a year ago, the law has prompted neither the rash of shootings that opponents feared, nor a wave of crimes prevented through the intervention of armed citizens.

  Instead, there are ongoing disputes over who should be allowed to carry a gun, and where. Those battles are being played out in the courts and occasionally, on the streets, as in Hearn’s account, which Chicago police would not comment on or confirm.

  Some citizens who were turned down for concealed-carry permits say they are being denied their constitutional right by a secretive state licensing board. Yet some law enforcement officials warn that dangerous people are being allowed to walk around with loaded weapons.”

 

Read more from the Chicago Tribune