Illinois gun owners plan to take to the streets in Springfield Wednesday arguing for more places to carry concealed firearms and opposing taxes on firearms and ammunition.
Valinda Rowe, an organizer for the annual Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day, or IGOLD, said even though Illinois gun owners won the right through the courts and through legislation to carry concealed firearms with a permit, there are still nearly two dozen areas where they cannot carry legally permitted weapons.
Those places include public transportation, something Rowe tells WMAY Springfield hurts the economically disadvantaged the most.
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“They do have a right to carry outside their homes to protect themselves and mass transportation, that is one of those areas that is most dangerous,” Rowe said.
Rowe said concealed carry permit holders also should be allowed to carry firearms at government-run rest stops along highways.
Meanwhile gun owners are expected to oppose extra taxes on firearms and ammunition.
Rowe said Cook County has already passed an extra tax on ammunition and firearms and there’s legislation she supports to reverse that while also prohibiting the tax elsewhere throughout the state.
“The law-abiding gun owners who go through the process of legally purchasing their firearms and purchasing their ammunition shouldn’t be penalized because of the criminal element out there,” Rowe said.
Cook County has a $25 tax for every firearm purchased. Beginning June 1 each cartridge purchased in the county will have an extra tax ranging from a penny to a nickel per cartridge, which would increase a standard case of 50 rounds by up to $2.50.
Gun owners plan to meet at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield at noon Wednesday, where they will then march to the Capitol to lobby lawmakers.
In 2014 Illinois became the last state in the country to allow for citizens to carry firearms outside the home.