Illinois county allows concealed carry

By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   June 12, 2013 at 4:01 PM   |   Comments

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June 12 (UPI) -- Illinois is the only state in the U.S. that prohibits concealed carry of firearms, but little by little, courts are chipping away at the ban.

Following a 2-1 ruling last year by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that said the state law was unconstitutional, the state legislatures have moved toward passing official legislation.

But some local lawmakers ran out of patience after the court's original June 9 deadline passed -- even though it was extended by a month -- and have moved to allow concealed carry.

Randolph County, in southwest Illinois, became the second county in the state to allow citizens to carry firearms in public, a week after a Madison County prosecutor said he would stop enforcing the prohibition.

In a statement released Tuesday, Randolph County State's Attorney Jeremy Walker said he would stop enforcing the conceal carry ban, effective immediately.

"The Randolph County State's Attorney's Office is announcing responsible, law-abiding citizens will finally be able to exercise their constitution right to carry concealed weapons in Randolph County," the statement read.

"June 9 has come and gone with no resolution," he said. "Accordingly, I feel it is time to act."

Walker said that, while Illinois State Police have indicated they would still arrest people carry concealed weapons, his office would not prosecute if specific criteria are met:

- The person must have a valid Firearm Owners Identification Cars (FOID);
- The person must not be prohibited from possessing a firearm under any Court Order or Statute;
- The firearm must be concealed on the person, or in a vehicle;
- The person must not be engaged in any criminal conduct;
- If stopped by a police officer, the person must immediately notify the officer if he or she is carrying a weapon;
- The person may not carry a weapon in the courthouse, any school or any church.

Both houses of the Illinois legislature have passed a concealed carry law, but Gov. Pat Quinn has yet to sign it.

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