10 of 14 counties in Illinois voted for concealed carry
14 counties in Illinois had a non-binding CCW referendum on the ballot yesterday. The question on the ballots was generally worded like: Shall the General Assembly enact legislation to permit the carrying of concealed firearms?
Here are the results from those 14 counties:
Woodford - yes 55%
Ogle - yes 53%
Crawford - Yes 59%
Jasper - Yes 61%
Jefferson - Yes 63%
Franklin - Yes 71%
Saline - Yes 71%
Greene - Yes 63%
Union - Yes 67%
Effingham - Yes 58%
McDonough - No 55%
LaSalle - No 53%
Kendall - No 56%
Winnebago - No 51%
Here is one of the few news articles from the Benton Evening News on the votes:
Supporters of the concealed carry referendum “sent a message to Springfield,” according to Valinda Rowe, spokeswoman for IllinoisCarry.com.
“The referendum passed in 10 of 14 counties in Illinois,” Rowe said. “Even in the four northern counties, the concealed carry referendum only failed by an average of 5 percent. The vote was very, very close even in the counties in which it did not pass.
“Part of the reason the vote failed in the four northern counties is because there was not enough time to hold town hall meetings,” Rowe said. “When the Winnebago County board passed the resolution, they immediately sent copies of it to every other county in the state. It was so late in the year that not every county had an opportunity to organize a town meeting. Town hall meetings were held in Franklin, Jefferson, Saline and Union counties and it passed in every county.”
Rowe said the concealed carry referendum failed to pass in Winnebago County by 2 percent.
“It also failed in McDonough, La Salle and Kendall counties, but only by a small margin,” she said. “The votes will send a message to legislators. We will be introducing a concealed carry bill in January when the new legislation is called into session. IllinoisCarry.com, the Illinois Rifle Association and others will be pushing the issue to encourage legislators to pass a concealed carry law. We will keep posting information on the Web site.”
The concealed carry referendum passed by a vote of 12,455 to 5,279 against.
Rowe said more education is needed.
“Education is the key to having a big impact on the issue,” she said. “It is not a matter of if the concealed carry law passes; it is a matter of when.”
Ronnie Baumgarte, Benton public property commissioner, said he thought the results were “great.”
“I appreciate everyone who voted in favor of the concealed carry referendum,” he said. “If 48 states can trust people to carry a concealed weapon after they have been trained and have had a background check, why can’t Illinois? In other states that have passed concealed carry laws, some businesses have signs posted outside their doors that tell people to leave their guns outside their doors. The law works in every other state it has been passed.
“People who are going to hurt you already have guns,” Baumgarte said. “For the most part, the majority of people in Franklin County already have guns. Just because they already have a gun, that does not mean they will use it in an irresponsible manner.” . . .
One other news story:
Voters in several Illinois communities voted overwhelmingly last night in support of concealed carry legislation. The advisory referendum won't change any laws, but it will send a message to lawmakers. The measure passed in 10 of 14 counties where it was considered. In our region Jefferson, Franklin, Union and Saline counties said "yes." Illinois is one of only two states in the country without concealed carry legislation. Every state legislator from our area is an outspoken supporter of concealed carry, but they admit there's a problem. And that's the biggest city in the state.
Don Gunnell is what you'd call a gun expert. As a retired police officer of 40 years he's allowed to carry a concealed weapon. He says it helps him feel safe and he'd like the same for everyone.
"I am for concealed carry, again with the stipulation that they do have the training before hand," said Gunnell. . . .