A proponent of Pike County's so called â??Constitutional Carryâ?? initiative says the downstate trend of similar measures spreading to other counties will force Illinois lawmakers to change the state's law.
Illinois is the only state that doesn't have some form of law that allows and regulates the carrying of a concealed weapon.
â??The wake up call was, as good as our law enforcement is, as good as our government agencies may be, they can't protect us when the hurricanes come and the terrorists strike, and individual citizens are beginning to think I need something to protect myself and my family because you never know when or where or what's going to strike,â?? he told the nearly 100 people who attended Tuesday's meeting.
Pike County has had a resolution supporting conceal carry since 2007 is one of 89 Illinois counties that passed similar resolutions, Metcalf said. The county was the first in the state where voters approved an ordinance supporting the issue.
Despite garnering an 87 percent majority of support from the county voters, the ordinance is moot as the state law supersedes any local ordinances meaning the law was more of a ceremonial statement of Pike County residents' approval.
â??It's inevitable that Illinois will have a conceal and carry law on the books,â?? he said.
Similar ordinances are being considered in Adams and McDonough counties locally.
State Rep. Jil Tracy and John Sullivan have both lent their support to numerous conceal and carry bills that have thus far not passed. Downstate lawmakers regularly find themselves at odds with Chicago representatives who oppose such bills citing the city's violence and high murder rate.