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Concealed Carry Showdown Looms in Highland Park, Illinois

CHICAGO, July 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):

A north-suburban lawmaker's promise to bar supporters of concealed carry from a public meeting has riled self-defense supporters from across the state.  When State Representative Karen May (D-58) learned that supporters of concealed carry planned to attend her July 9 town hall meeting, she responded by saying that her staff would bar anyone who lives outside her district from entering the meeting.  The ISRA and government accountability watchdog groups doubt that May has the authority to ban any citizen from the public meeting as the Highland Park Public Safety Building is a public building funded with taxpayer dollars.  Despite May's promise to prevent concealed carry supporters from entering the meeting, the ISRA expects a large turnout of self-defense advocates.  The town hall meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., July 9, at the Highland Park Public Safety Building, 1677 Old Deerfield Road, Highland Park, IL.

"Rep. May has, for many years, been openly antagonistic towards law-abiding firearm owners," commented ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson.  "May has consistently supported every gun control measure – no matter how intrusive or inappropriate – introduced into the House.  May has also been a very vocal opponent of concealed carry and voted against HB148 earlier this spring.  After casting her vote against HB148, May issued a statement gloating over the bill's defeat.  Needless to say, May is not very popular with those who support the right to self defense."

"Concealed carry is a life or death issue to many folks," continued Pearson.  "The issue generates a lot of passion in those who are concerned about violent crime and self-defense.  When Rep. May announced her town hall meeting, many self-defense advocates saw the meeting as an opportunity to communicate their position on the issue to Rep. May.  Many feel that, since May represents a very affluent district, she may not be sensitive to the plight of citizens for whom the threat of violent street crime is an everyday concern.  Self-defense advocates want to impress upon Rep. May their need to have a readily available means of self defense as they go about their daily lives."

"Of course, we can expect to hear Rep. May say that she '…votes her district' on this issue," said Pearson.  "But, at this juncture, concealed carry is an issue of state-wide concern and voting one's district may not serve the interests of the state as a whole.  Including May's vote, there is currently about a half-dozen vote margin between passage and failure of concealed carry in the House.  Thus, with the vote so close, May's constituency on this issue conceivably consists of every law-abiding person in the state.  May's promise to deny some citizens a voice at the town hall meeting serves only to polarize the issue further."

The ISRA is the state's leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership.  For more than a century, the ISRA has represented the interests of millions of law-abiding firearm owners.

SOURCE Illinois State Rifle Association



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