Some Illinois counties seek change in state's gun laws

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by Matt Sczensy / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on November 8, 2012 at 10:41 PM

Updated Friday, May 10 at 12:11 PM

(KMOV.com) - Several counties in Illinois are seeking to change the state's gun laws to allow conceal and carry.

Illinois is the last state in the Union to not allow any form of conceal and carry. On Election Day, 10 counties endorsed making conceal and carry legal.

Previously, 80 other counties supported the idea.  Voters were casting ballots on a non-binding resolution that can't change the law, but lets lawmakers know how they feel.

Supporters believe the movement is growing. A gun shop owner in the Metro East says his customers want the law changed immediately.

"Southern Illinois wants conceal and carry to be legal," Steve King said.

Supporters are organizing efforts to apply pressure on lawmakers to change the law. The leader of Carry-Illinois, a group that is pushing to make conceal and carry legal says gun owners in Illinois want their counterparts in Missouri already have.

"In Missouri, it's completely legal and nobody is shooting each other over parking spaces that I've heard of," Mark Palmisano said. "It's not always the best choice, it's not always the first choice. It's the last choice, but it has to be open to us when you're defending your life and family."

The recent push came from counties in northwestern Illinois. Counties in Southern Illinois already gave their approval for changing the law.

The Illinois General Assembly came close to changing the law in 2011, but strong opposition from Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago area lawmakers prevented it from happening. Gun owners believe they will stand a better chance of legalizing conceal and carry as more counties cry out for it.

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