CHESTER, Ill., June 12 (UPI) -- Randolph County in southern Illinois has become the second in the state to allow residents to carry concealed firearms.
State's Attorney Jeremy Walker announced Tuesday people with valid firearms owner identification cards will be allowed to carry weapons on their person and in vehicles, KMOX-TV in St. Louis reported. Guns would still be banned from churches, schools and courthouses, and anyone with a concealed weapon stopped by police officers must immediately notify them that they have a gun.
"The Randolph County State's Attorney's Office is announcing responsible, law-abiding citizens will finally be able to exercise their constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in Randolph County," Walker said in a statement.
After Tom Gibbons, the state's attorney in nearby Madison County, made the same announcement last week several police organizations said that people carrying concealed firearms are still subject to arrest. The Illinois State Police, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, and Illinois Sheriff's Association issued a joint statement.
"Current Illinois law prohibits the carrying of an immediately accessible or loaded firearm on your person or in your vehicle regardless of whether it is concealed," the groups announced. "Persons in violation are subject to arrest."
The Illinois law has been in a state of confusion since a federal appeals court ruled the state's ban on concealed weapons was unconstitutional. A new law has been passed by the legislature and is awaiting action by Gov. Pat Quinn.
The sheriff in Clinton County, which is also in the southeastern part of the state, announced Saturday he would not enforce the ban.