Winnebago county residents consider concealed carry

County board members will hold a hearing Wednesday about a concealed carry ordinance, though Illinois state law prohibits it.

October 17, 2012

Winnebago County residents are scheduled to gather Wednesday to discuss a concealed carry ordinance, even though Illinois is the lone state in the U.S. that prohibits it. 

County board member Jim Webster recently proposed an ordinance that would allow licensed gun owners to carry concealed firearms in Winnebago County. He says crime is an issue in their county and a concealed carry law would help protect residents.

"If a bad guys coming in to rob a restaurant for example, and there’s 10 people in there, he doesn’t know if one or two or five or maybe all of them are armed," Webster said.

Webster says if the county passes the ordinance, they would have a strong legal defense against the state under the Second Amendment of the Constitution, the right to bear arms.

Dave Kurlinkus, deputy states attorney in Winnebago county, says he personally supports concealed carry, but having different rules for different counties doesn't make sense to him.

"It would be a void ordinance, it would be completely unenforceable in my opinion," Kurlinkus said.

The county is holding one of two hearings tonight in Rockford to see where residents fall on the issue.