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Illinois County Strikes Blow for Concealed Carry

by J. Scott Rupp   |  March 23rd, 2012 37

handgunPike County, Illinois, fired the latest salvo in the war to take back citizens’ firearms rights. In a March 20 election, county voters approved a CCW ordinance by 3,214 to 550 in what a news release termed one of the largest turnouts in county history. The ordinance, which conflicts with state law (Illinois has no concealed carry provisions for its citizens—the only state that completely prohibits concealed carry by its residents), took effect on passage.


The effort was led by two Pike County residents: Second Amendment activist Dr. Dan Mefford and Handguns magazine contributing editor Dick Metcalf. The approved ordinance permits so-called Constitutional carry in which residents may carry concealed without a permit or license. Currently, only Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming and parts of Montana have Constitutional carry.


Interestingly, Illinois is one of only a handful of states that don’t have express preemption against local entities  passing local ordinances regarding firearms and ammunition.

(RELATED: More Concealed Carry News at!)

But most of the time that has worked the other way; cities and counties have been able to pass more onerous gun restrictions than are dictated by the state. For instance, Chicago, Morton Grove, Oak Park and a few other Illinois towns passed ordinances banning handgun ownership whereas Illinois state law contains no such prohibition. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2010 (McDonald v. Chicago) the Chicago and Oak Park bans to be unconstitutional, and that and the 2008 landmark Heller v. District of Columbia ruling have essentially forced many of the most restrictive bans to be modified.


Now that the shoe is on the other foot—residents wanting less gun control, not more—a legal challenge from the state is sure to follow. We’ll keep you posted.


  • Patch

    Now, if we could get Alexander County to do the same thing, we might—MIGHT—be able to have a bearable route to get to St. Louis for the NRA National Convention from some mid-Atlantic states without having to deal with Rahm & Company's onerous laws…

    • John John

      Carefull, it says that residents of that county may carry concealed. I didn't see anything about travelers in that county from out of state or even residents of other counties…

  • ToryII

    Rahmulus Caligulus !

  • Ben

    Does anyone know where I can see the wording of the actual ordinance? I'm hoping I can get my state legislators to pass a similar resolution here in Cumberland County, NJ

    • Ross

      You need to call our circuit clerk Debbie Dugan here is her phone number 217-285-6612. Her secretary is friendly and should email it to you.

  • Dan

    Outstanding work gentleman!

  • 44dana

    it was just passed on the ballot tuesday its not actually in effect yet they still have alot of work to do it but i can not wait for it i live in adams but own land in pike and spend alot of time there its a great accomplishment for gun rights!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bill1603

    Finally Someone who understands the people. I can't wait for the CCW to be approved in the state of Illinois. It has taken so long and we look rediculuous being last. Makes me wonder if they are making the right desicions on other matters. I will tel you one more thing. They want you to keep your weapon in the car when you enter a building that posts no weapons. That is stupid too. Any responsible gun owner knows that gun needs to be on your person. Not left for someone to break into cars and take them. That will be the next issue I guess.

    • Red Shoes

      You better get rid of the likes of Rahm Enamuel and the Illionis Democrats if you want concealed carry.

      • G Valin

        Unfortunately the state of Cook county is mostly a Democrat state

    • nick

      hey bill dont feel too bad. here in jersey only if you are an armored car driver, a cop, or you know somebody do you get a carry permit. i hate how every article/map shows nj as a carry state and not IL. we should appear black/right denied also

  • jack

    If you have any questions about the CWP law or training contact or 1-866-371-6111 and the Instructors at Equip 2 Conceal will be happy to help you.

  • sirflyguy

    Regarding the picture: That grip is not recommended for the Chiappa Rhino. Thumb is way too close to the cylinder gap.

  • Red Shoes

    Chicago, Morton Grove, Oak Park and a few other Illinois towns…those laws were passed by "city councils" and boards. They ARE NOT by the popular vote of the people! If these cities would ever put those laws up for a local vote, they would all be defeated! The laws in Chicago were rammed through my Daley and council right before he left office after the Supreme Court ruling on McDonald vs. Chicago. Rahm Emanuel and city council added a few too.

  • Red Shoes

    And, by the way…that's the way it's done here in the U.S.A.!!! "of the people, by the people and for the people" !

    Illinios politicians and gangsters beware…your time is about up!

  • Roy

    People from the rest of the country feel very sorry for those of you in and around the People's Republic of Chicago. My heart goes out to all those innocent victims that will have to die just to prove to the mindless liberals that somehow think that making guns illegal will stop bad guys from having and carrying them. They have the unmitigated nerve to call themselves "progressives". Folks, a liberal democrat calling itself a progressive is like a piece of poop calling itself an air-freshener.

  • Tim McGuire

    This is one chink in the armor of the Peoples Republic of Illinois. Actually, people there would do well to rid themselves of the Democratic plague that has ruined the state for many years. Just look at the state's pension obligations to teachers, now and in the future, and you will want to vote them out today. Don't believe me though, just look it up and you may want to move to another state tonight.

    • Carl

      That is precisely what I intend to do! I have been an Illinois resident most of my life exept for about ten years recently in Fl. I had a CCW permit there and now that i am back in Ill I can't stand not having my right to defend myself. If CCW fails again I will go accross the river to Mo.!

  • geo1

    I was gonna say something about the grip that person has on that Rhino too…
    Next shot….BURNT and BLASTED thumb!!! LOL!!!!

  • Alan_T

    My understanding is that there are a number of counties that have been waiting to see what took place in Pike before putting forward their own versions of CCW ordinances . As I have mentioned in comments on other blogs here , very little of Illinois agrees with what comes out of The Peoples Democratic Republic of Chicago . There's not a day that goes by that some politico out of Chicago isn't brought up on corruption charges , the latest being Rep . Smith . Further more , I always find it interesting to note that these crooks out of Chicago are always the ones screaming for more and more gun control legislation . A coincidence ? ? ?

  • gtr

    Congrats Pike County! Way to take back you government! Hopefully more IL counties will follow. Hint hint…Lasalle county…hint hint

  • Guest

    Great Job pike. Now if we could only take our state back and away from the corruption and fiscal drain that is Chicago. We need a bill making Chicago a district like DC, so that it doesn't effect the rest of the state.

  • JMAC

    I just would never live in such a place. Most mentioned are shit holes anyway. Nothing against the individuals who live in these areas. Just my personal opinion, I realize many may have no choice.

    • Shadow

      Do us all a favor, next time you have a thought just let it go.

  • Scott Nelson

    Dr. Mefford and Mr. Metcalf have shown us all that it is possible to take political action and succeed! Never be afraid to try something. Way to go, gentlemen.

  • Sheb Schebella

    Fine Job in deed….

  • frank

    It is still not legal in Pike county to carry. It will not be legal until it passes at the state level. The police in the county have already warned residents that they will be arrested if they carry a concealed firearm.

  • fuzzyjon79

    Sounds like a step in the right direction! Come on Illinois, comply with the 2nd Amendment! The Supreme Court has already stated that it does extend to the individual!

  • Johnny's Resale

    2nd Amendment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…try to take my gun from me and see what happens…is the constitution a blanket of lies??? if i am to comply with the laws that governs our 50 states then i will….but number 2 is in the books i have the right and i will use it….free country my a** they want us to support them but they take everything from us…

  • Rico

    I could be wrong, but it wouldn't be the first time these magazine has printed something faulty. I lived in AZ for awhile, and while it was perfectly legal to carry a firearm WITHOUT a permit/license/etc… it had to be OPEN CARRY, not concealed carry, you still needed a permit for that. Otherwise it was a felony "carrying a CONCEALED weapon.".
    Maybe they changed it, but citizens of all states: dont carry just because you read a magazine, please read your local laws & penal codes first BEFORE buying/carrying.
    G&A once stated (and Im paraphrasing here, I live in TX now) " Texas is a Constitutional state & does not require a permit or license to CCW." I KNOW that is false, yet it was printed, not online, but in their printed magazine. So please check out the AZ & other states to keep out of trouble. Trouble easily found on your state web site, penal code, or LEO/gun shop (a real gun shop, not Academy, Bass Pro, etc).

  • skipper21

    The state will definitely challenge this, even though it has not restricted Cook County from banning so-called assault weapons (any military-looking modern semi-auto). The good thing is that it can be turned against the communist government in Springfield as being inconsistent in its application.The state is broke and poorly run, but a concerted effort is needed to force change in it's unconstitutional behavior.That has to come from voting booth,the courtroom and pressure by citizens who choose their government, but who will not be dictated to or have their rights violated by it. Its supposed to be state goverment, and not "The Peoples Republic of Illinois."

  • Hitch

    "It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong." – Voltaire

  • Hitch

    "Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything." – Joseph Stalin

  • Larry

    We need every county in the state to pass the same law, then let Quinn say we don't support concealed carry!

  • Mark

    For those who think the 2nd amendment protects the right to concealed carry, I suggest you re-read it. I suppose it's possible the Supreme Court could find that it does some day, but that is not currently the law. "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Keep and bear arms is not the same as conceal and carry. Most firearms of the day would have been nearly impossible to conceal and carry. It's one thing to support passage of concealed carry laws, it's another to pretend the Bill of Rights already makes it legal.

    • Hoggattbay

      Mark?”A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Ok I see that you are a 2nd amendment supporter. You are confused about people keeping and bearing arms shall not be infringed. Well no where does the 2nd amendment say where we are to keep and bear our arms and if our government missenterprets the amendment as to telling us that we cannot keep them on our person in any way the they have violated or infringed upon us. This infringement exposes the fact that the security of the free state has been violated by the occupation government. And this government has failed to follow the most basic rights set down by our founding fathers to prevent this country falling into the hands of a tyrannical government. Hope this helps Mark.

  • Dustin

    OMG, the lack of fact-checking and research in this article is appalling… I'm not even going to try to sort it all out, but the most glaring is that only 3 States have Constitutional Carry. I'm not going to name them because I hope readers will find all the other lies/mistakes in their quest to find facts for themselves…

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