Southern Illinoisan gun shop owner weighs on concealed carry act - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Southern Illinoisan gun shop owner weighs on concealed carry act

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MARION -- The United States House has passed a law allowing concealed carry holders to cross state lines. It's a move that could have a huge impact in Illinois. Illinois does not recognize gun permits from other states. The move has many southern Illinoisans in favor.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act allows law-abiding citizens with a concealed carry permit in one state to carry in another state without the fear of breaking the law. The National Rifle Association applauded the United States House of Representatives for their vote and so have some locals.

J.D. Barter calls it a win for Second Amendment rights.

"We're excited about it. We're definitely pro-carry for this," said Barter. 

Barter is co-owner of Tombstone Gun Range in Marion and teaches concealed carry classes. He said  many law abiding gun owners got in serious trouble, with some even arrested, as they crossed into other states, like Illinois, which don't recognize permits from other states.

Illinois Representative John Shimkus calls the bill a simple solution that he's proud to sponsor. 

"It's to address issues and concerns like that that we need to be able to respect the license process of each state," said Shimkus during an interview over the phone.

If approved by the Senate, Barter says the law would protect responsible gun owners "and keeps them from the potential of wandering or crossing into a state that it's illegal for them to have a weapon in," added Barter. 

Barter said he understands the fear of "allowing gun-toting individuals in all 50-states, to run amuck." In fact, a congresswoman from Connecticut called the bill an attempt to undermine state's rights, and "allow dangerous criminals to walk around with hidden guns anywhere and at any time." Others took to social media who shared in her concerns.

"Concealed carry holder instances are virtually non-existent. There are a few but versus everything else, it's a very very very small percentage," said Barter.  

Barter said Illinois requires 16 hours of training before anyone can even apply, in addition to multiple background checks locally, state-wide and nationwide.

"It's not a sign up and we're going to give you a license type thing or do an on-line course and now you can carry type thing," said Barter.

Shimkus said the bill does not establish a federal permit or registry, it just says that one state's permit is good in another state, similar to your driver's license. And the bill does not make firearms more accessible to individuals nor does it regulate how states issue concealed carry permits.

To see the statement from Representative Shimkus, click here.

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