As the debate about the right to bear arms focuses on Illinois – the only state without any type of concealed weapons permit – state Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (D-Chicago) has been bringing both sides of the issue to the table with his Firearm Awareness Task Force.
The task force, which has met once prior to last Monday’s hearing, has already examined the legal arguments around the wording of the 2nd Amendment. Monday’s hearing focused on crime statistics and whether states with conceal and carry see a drop in crime.
Task force members also heard about the impact of conceal and carry from municipal and law enforcement leaders. Future meetings are planned.
“The Firearm Awareness Task Force will continue to fulfill its charge by studying the facts about the impact concealed and carry could have on Illinois,” Ford said in a press release.
“The purpose of these hearings is to examine the most common claims on both sides in an effort to empower legislators with facts. Do states with conceal and carry see lower crime rates? Did 49 other states get it wrong? Will the Supreme Court strike our prohibitions down? If they do, will we have missed our opportunity to enact common-sense protections? These are important questions that deserve bipartisan study.”
Caption: Rep. Ford questions a witness at a recent Firearm Awareness Task Force meeting in Springfield