The point man for “concealed carry” in Illinois is somewhat encouraged by the results of advisory votes in 10 counties Tuesday. “I think it shows the frustration that people have with the lack of advancement on the issue with the legislature,” says Todd Vandermyde, lobbyist for the National Rifle Association in Illinois.
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While some would say an advisory referendum carries no weight, Vandermyde disagrees, saying it spotlights the Chicago and suburbs vs. Downstate divide on concealed carry. He says he’s awaiting the results of a federal court case which could strengthen concealed carry as a right, not a privilege. That, he says, could determine the chances of a concealed carry bill in the next General Assembly, which convenes Jan. 9.
The 10 counties voting for the referendum were Adams, Bond, Henry, McDonough, Mercer, Randolph, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stephenson and Warren. Illinois is the only state that does not allow concealed carry under any circumstances, though it’s highly restricted is some of the states where it is permitted.