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Local Control Part of Concealed Carry Debate


Illinois lawmakers are still scrambling to pass a concealed-carry bill. While negotiations continue,the question of whether there should be localcontrol has surfaced in the debate.Under a federal court order, the General Assembly has until June 9th to pass a law that would allow residents to apply for concealed-carry permits. In recent weeks, policy makers and law enforcement officials have expressed views on whether a statewide standard would be the best way to control things. Governor Pat Quinn set the tone when he said it should be up to local officials to establish regulations, especially when it comes to home rule communities.

Jan Noble is the police chief in Belvidere, which is a home-rule community. He doesn’t think there should be a patchwork of ordinances.

"The drain on local law enforcement, can you imagine? And the time it would take to do backgrounds and to assure the community that we have done our part" Noble said.

Winnebago County Sheriff Richard Meyers agrees. He doesn’t want to create confusion for permit-holders.

“When you leave Winnebago County and you take your gun and you travel to Ogle County, if they have a different set of regulations, are you going to inadvertently violate a law?” Meyers said.

But Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart wants the power to accept or reject concealed carry applications.

“What my goal is, is to have this as objective as possible” Dart said.

Dart wants the Cook County board to adopt its own rules, because he doesn’t think Springfield lawmakers can reach a compromise before the deadline.