ROCKFORD - The public weighed
in Wednesday night on concealed carry at a forum in downtown
Back in August, the
Rockford Tea Party submitted an 11,000+ signature petition asking for a concealed
carry law just within
The state's attorney's office was the one that advised against the board creating a law. They said at the September meeting, that the county could be sued if they created the law as a civil liability. However a constitutional law attorney, Walter Maksym, says that's not true. He's represented countless gun rights cases in court.
"The county couldn't be sued because they have legislative immunity," said Maksym.
"They can pass a law, otherwise no one would become a senator or county board member. You can't sue the county or you can't sue the individual legislators for enacting a law."
ultimately concealed carry should be up to the state legislature to
decide. Winnebago County Board member
Jim Webster (R - Dist. 2) organized tonight's forum. He says
"This garnering of more attention or continual attention, we're really hoping that this puts the pressure on the legislature to do something," said Webster.
Even though many at
Wednesday night's meeting felt that the county should take that decisive step
to create their own law, Maksym told people in attendance at the meeting that
they might not have to actually do that.
He cited the Supreme Court case McDonald
v. Chicago, which he said overturned
"The seventh circuit court of appeals may very well throw out the state law and then the legislature will have to enact a concealed carry regime of some kind," said Maksym.
If this whole public hearing on concealed carry rings any bells, that because these public hearings also occurred four years ago. The county wanted to gauge opinion on concealed carry. It got put on a ballot and both the city and county voted against it.