Thursday, November 6, 2008

ISRA Press Release - Concealed Carry

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Nov. 5 /-- The following was released on November 5, 2008 by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):

Every day, hundreds of Illinois citizens are raped, robbed, murdered, bullied and brutalized by lawless criminals who, thanks to Illinois' ineffective justice system, roam our streets with near impunity. This unfortunate situation is made all the worse by the fact that the Illinois General Assembly refuses to allow law-abiding citizens to carry defensive firearms. In fact, under current Illinois law, citizens who use a defensive firearm to protect self and family from violent crime could spend more time in jail than the thug that attacked them.

The good people of Illinois are sick and tired of having to make the daily choice between becoming a victim of violent crime, or becoming a felon for exercising preparedness. On November 4th, voters in 14 Illinois counties went to the polls to vote on referenda advising the general assembly to pass a concealed carry law. When the votes were counted, 10 of 14 counties had voted in favor of allowing law-abiding citizens to carry defensive firearms.

"The message is clear," commented ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson. "Illinoisans are weary of living in one of only two states that deny citizens the right to protect themselves and family with the most effective means available - the defensive firearm. We've all heard over and over again this morning that Americans have voted for change. Well, yesterday's referenda votes were all about change as well. It's time for the General Assembly to abandon its mistrust of average citizens and allow them to provide for their own defense."

"The lack of a concealed carry law in Illinois is not for lack of trying," continued Pearson. "Year in and year out, the ISRA and its supporters in the General Assembly have introduced bills to authorize concealed carry. And, year in and year out, House Speaker Michael Madigan has seen to it that those bills never get out of committee. Denying the General Assembly the opportunity to debate the issue does a great disservice to the citizens of Illinois."

"When the next legislative session convenes, yet another concealed carry bill will be introduced," said Pearson. "Hopefully, the success of this week's referenda will prod the Speaker to allow this issue to get the attention it deserves. No government should force citizens to choose between a hospital room and a prison cell."

The ISRA is the state's leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership. Founded in 1903, the ISRA has represented the interests of millions of law-abiding Illinois firearm owners.

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