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Illinois Concealed Carry: 9 Counties To Vote On Measure

11/04/2012 01:50 pm ET

Illinois is the only state in the U.S. to have an all-out ban on concealed weapons, but voters in nine, mostly rural, counties hope to see that changed.

Counties like Henry, Rock Island and Bond have added ballot measures asking if they want Illinois to allow its residents to carry concealed weapons, reports the Associated Press.

The measures being voted on in the nine counties are non-binding, as the AP notes no local law can override state law. Rather, the point of the vote is to pressure Illinois lawmakers into lifting ban on carrying concealed weapons.

Chicago, meanwhile, has remained ardently anti-gun, particularly as it has seen its yearly homicide rate soar. Both Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn, himself a Chicagoan, are staunchly against lifting the ban, and have even voiced calls for tighter gun laws.

In March, gun rights supporters and politicians were hopeful as the House Agriculture & Conservation Committee approved House Bill 5745, which would allow residents to carry concealed weapons.

Just two months later, Gov. Pat Quinn vowed to veto the bill if it came across his desk.

In April, several Chicago police officers went to Springfield to oppose the measure to lift the band, saying flaws in the gun permit system would be amplified by allowing people to carry concealed firearms.

While several state's attorneys are in favor of lifting Illinois' concealed carry ban, they also support initial restrictions like background checks, mandatory firearms-safety courses, and limits on where a gun could be carried.

"I don't think it would be a good idea for everybody to be able to sit around a bar packing a piece, or walking into a school with a gun," said Warren County's Chip Algren, according to the AP.

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