Concealed carry begins, Illinoisans locked and loaded - Dallas News |

Concealed carry begins, Illinoisans locked and loaded

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

One of Illinois' first licenses to carry a concealed, loaded firearm arrived Monday. Steven Potete, a veteran NRA member, showed FOX 32 News how he'll holster his handgun now every time he leaves his Southwest Suburban home.

"Absolutely excited, glad that it finally came in Illinois, that I can feel comfortable taking my wife and my children outside in public now," said Potete.

However, Potete said that he may remove from his family's van the National Rifle Association stickers he proudly put there years ago. He wants to prevent the chances of his vehicle becoming a target for thieves seeking a gun.

Some police fear exactly that, including Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, one of the most outspoken critics of Illinois' new concealed carry law.

"People steal cars. And now, they're not just gonna' get the car. They're gonna' get a bonus. They're gonna' open the glove compartment and find a firearm. It's outrageous. It's not well thought out," said McCarthy.

To NRA members such as Steven Potete, that's an argument to let people carry their guns virtually everywhere, so that they don't have to be left in vehicles.

Potete will be in the State Capitol Wednesday lobbying to eliminate, or severely restrict, signs on places preventing the entrance of people concealed carrying.

Potete claimed such places would now be targets for criminals, who've been intimidated by concealed carry in other states.

"Stand by and watch what happens. The answer to gun violence is not more guns," said McCarthy.

Supt. McCarthy also said that Chicago Police have received what he called a "new training protocol" in advance of the arrival of legal concealed carry. When police officers stop a vehicle, or a person on the street, checking for concealed firearms will now be a higher priority than ever.

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