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County Board Proposed Conceal Carry Ordinance 5/19/08

Winnebago County Sheriff's OfficeNews Media Release  News  Release Number                2008-023
 Information: County Board Proposed Conceal Carry Ordinance
 Date: 05/19/08  Time:  1200 Hrs.       Page 1   of  2

 Narrative:  Forty eight (48) out of fifty (50) states have some form of conceal carry rights.  The only two states banning conceal carry are Wisconsin and Illinois. During an Internet search, I found information stating that Wisconsin passed conceal carry legislation that was vetoed by the Governor and only fell two votes short of an override.  Based on the above, it is obvious that the time has come for the right for conceal carry to be addressed in the State of Illinois.  Although no doubt passage of conceal carry may bring negative issues along with positive issues, the lack of conceal carry is just as problematic.   There is legislation that area representatives have signed onto to address conceal carry at the State level and I believe that is where we should focus our attention. In an article in today’s Rockford Register Star, reference is made regarding statements by Board Members Randy Olson and Doug Aurand as follows: “Olson and Aurand counter that the sheriff already has the authority to deputize and arm citizens.  In their interpretation of the law, the sheriff also has the authority to issue permits to qualified applicants who live in his jurisdiction”.  Olson states, “We’re not changing any law.  We’re using the law currently on the books.  We’re directing the sheriff under the powers that he already has to immediately upon passage (of the resolution) to establish a permit process”. The above information quoted in the Rockford Register Star from Aurand and Olson is totally incorrect.  There is nothing in the State statute that enables the Sheriff of any county to issue permits for conceal carry weapons.  The auxiliary deputy statute references to by Mr. Olson and Mr. Aurand is not being interpreted correctly by the gentlemen and does not allow me to authorize even auxiliary deputies to carry a concealed weapon.  The statute reads “Such auxiliary deputies shall not carry firearms, except with the permission of the  Page 2 of 2                                                                                       News Release #2008-023  sheriff and ONLY while in uniform and in the performance of their assigned duties”. When they go home, and take their uniform off they cannot leave their home carrying a weapon.  My interpretation of the auxiliary deputy statute has been confirmed by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office to include State’s Attorney Nicolosi himself. The issue of whether the County Board has the authority to pass an ordinance to circumvent state law is something that the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Attorney General for the State of Illinois has said is not permissible. The above information is provided simply to clarify the misinformation being disseminated by Mr. Olson and Mr. Aurand.  Although they are undoubtedly well intentioned, their interpretation of the auxiliary deputy statute is incorrect.  I would encourage the Winnebago County Board and the citizens at large to address the conceal carry weapon issue with their State Representatives and work to achieve a change at the State level; all citizens of the State of Illinois, not just Winnebago County, deserve the same rights.

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