The Illinois Legislature is nearing a vote on whether the state will become the nation's 49th to allow residents to carry concea
Concealed handgun ban faces shootout in Illinois
"It's heating up. We think we're close," Todd Vandermyde, a National Rifle Association lobbyist, told the newspaper. "You've got 48 states that have this. That's a statement."
State Rep. Harry Osterman, D-Chicago, a leading opponent of the plan, told the Post-Dispatch that "arming this state is going to make more and more people feel that they need to protect themselves, and it could escalate all the handguns that are out there."
Similar efforts have failed before, but this time the Illinois Sheriff's Association is behind the NRA. "I think it will reduce crime," St. Clair County Sheriff Mearl Justus told the paper, who once opposed the plan. "I used to feel that way, but 48 states can't be wrong."
If Illinois goes along, Wisconsin will be the last state with a ban.
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