Gun rights supporters rally in state capitol

By Tyler Profilet - bio | email

MARION IL (KFVS) - As many as 10,000 gun owners are expected in Springfield, Illinois Thursday as they rally in support of concealed carry rights in the state.

Some of those supporters are in the Heartland.

A busload of supporters from Marion and a second bus from Mt. Vernon left for Springfield Thursday morning to let lawmakers know they want the bill to pass.

Supporters as well as the bill's sponsor say Illinois should, "Get with the times," and allow concealed carry.

The proposed bill would allow county sheriff's to issue gun permits to people 21 and older who've attended the proper training courses.

Illinois is currently one of two states that bar legal gun owners from carrying concealed weapons.

A similar bill got committee approval back in 2009, but it was never called for a floor vote.

But the supporters say they feel confident the law will pass, and conceal and carry will soon be legal in Illinois.

"With the change in political climate, we're as close as we've ever been," said Michael Greer.

"There will be a lot of benefits," said John Hacko of West Frankfort. "Women will certainly benefit. It will give them comfort in the parking lots at night."

Along with support for a concealed carry law, Thursday's rally will also protest the release of gun owner names and personal information.

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