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Concealed carry bill: Illinois prosecutor 'goes rogue,' allows concealed carry

Concealed carry bill: An Illinois prosecutor jumps the gun, saying he won't prosecute carriers of concealed weapons in his county. Illinois is the only state in the US without a concealed carry law.

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The two Illinois attorneys are not alone in their preemptive measures against gun control.  In January, Sheriff Stacy Nicholson of Georgia's Gilmer County wrote on Facebook that he has no “intention of following any orders of the federal government to perform any act which would be considered to be unlawful” – meaning, any federal or state gun-control measure that curbed Second Amendment rights.

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Staff Writer

Elizabeth Barber is a staff writer at The Christian Science Monitor. She holds a master’s degree from Columbia Journalism School and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and English from SUNY Geneseo. Before coming to the Monitor, she was a freelance reporter at DNAinfo, a New York City breaking news site. She has also been an intern at The Cambodia Daily, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and at Washington D.C.’s The Middle East Journal.

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And one Texas-based law-enforcement group is campaigning to get more sheriffs on-board with such opposition, hoping to get least 1,200 out of the nation's 31,000 sheriffs to publicly oppose gun control laws.

At the time, President Barack Obama was proposing a package of gun-control laws that would meet rising demand for such measures after the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

In Maine, a bill that would have allowed gun owners to carry a concealed weapon without a permit failed to pass the House of Representatives by one vote on Tuesday. Currently, Maine law allows people to carry a gun without a permit as long as the gun remains visible.

A professor of constitutional law at the University of Denver, Sam Kamin, told The Christian Science Monitor that the push-back from local officials on gun-control are an echo of Civil War politics, when southern authorities refused to enforce federal laws in their localities.

"It sounds like the pre-Reconstruction South, where they vowed to arrest federal officers coming down to enforce federal law – which is just inherently inconsistent with the federal system," he said.

Illinois’ bill would ban the carrying of concealed guns in a number of public spaces, including schools and parks, as well as in bars where more than 50 percent of sales are from liquor. Permits would be given to people who pass a background check and has a valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card, which requires 16 hours of training to obtain.

Under the previous law, the right to carry a concealed weapon had been restricted to police, security guards, hunters and members of target shooting clubs.

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