Last night's meeting of the McHenry County Right-to-Carry Assn. was a blast. The conference room was almost packed. An estimated 300+ concerned citizens were there to hear candidates for area offices tell why (or whether) they supported right-to-carry.
I thought about wearing a holster under my jacket last night and having some fun with the audience. I expected to hear an audible gasp, if I took off my jacket to expose the holster. I intended to explain that is what the public would feel, if they saw a holster under a jacket and how we needed to educate the public to seeing holsters and not being shocked. I also thought about drawing the most dangerous weapon that I thought would be in the room - my business card. But I wimped out.
But here is what I did say about my stand on concealed carry.
When I moved to Woodstock, I called the P.D. right away to obtain an application for a concealed carry permit. The cop laughed at me.
Then I called the sheriff's department. The deputy didn't laugh at me, but he did tell me that I would never get a concealed carry permit in Illinois. Whoever he was, he was saying "never" to the wrong person!
Then I attacked the self-serving position of the Illinois Sheriff's Assn. about wanting applications processed by the county sheriff's office. No way! Think I'd get a permit in my lifetime? How many times would it get "lost"? I said that, if elected, I would work to approve get concealed-carry approved in Illinois without that step in the process.
I also reported an improvement in the position of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. Five years ago they were against concealed carry except by active or retired law enforcement. As of September 28, that Association is now "neutral". I pledged to work with the chiefs of police in McHenry County to persuade them to be in favor of concealed carry.
I also said that, on my first day in office, I would sign this pledge:
"I, Gus Philpott, will never, by use of force or any other means, confiscate firearms lawfully possessed by the citizens of my community."
And I shall work with the communities in McHenry County to persuade their mayors, village presidents and chiefs of police to make this same pledge.
So, if you are wondering whether I support concealed carry by law-abiding citizens, I guess you know that I do!
the sheriff to have the right