More State's Attorneys say they won't prosecute concealed carry

By Audrey Wise

June 14, 2013 Updated Jun 14, 2013 at 10:36 PM CDT

CENTRAL ILLINOIS -- Concealed carry is not yet legal statewide, but several prosecutors are coming forward to say they will not prosecute it in their counties. That includes some State's Attorneys here locally.

Tazewell County State's Attorney Stu Umholtz said he has been contacted by many citizens about concealed carry and how his office will address that issue.

Umholtz said in a statement Friday that his office will not prosecute law abiding citizens carrying firearms concealed on their person or in their vehicle.

"I cannot charge someone with the violation of a law that's been ruled unconstitutional," he said.

Last week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals gave Governor Pat Quinn 30 more days to decide if he'll sign the concealed carry bill lawmakers sent to his desk last month.

Umholtz said it's time citizens know what is and is not legal, "It's unacceptable for our state government to not provide precise rules to citizens so they can follow the law. That's what they want to do. They are begging, how can we lawfully posses a firearm for self defense."

In a statement, Peoria County State's Attorney Jerry Brady said he too is not charging those entitled to possession.

In McLean County, State's Attorney Jason Chamber said he has not prosecuted a case like this since the December ruling.

"I don't see how ethically I can go forward with charges that I know aren't going to be in existence by the time the case was actually going to be resolved," said Chambers.

But, under state law, you can still be arrested for concealed carry.

Chambers said everyone needs to make their on decisions, "Just because my office wouldn't be charging something doesn't mean it wouldn't have an impact on them or a great inconvenience."

If Quinn fails to sign the bill into law by July 9th, concealed carry will take effect without any state regulations in place.

State's Attorney Umholtz adds, all gun owners should be responsible and complete firearm education and training.

"The discussion on concealed carry has been too focused on 'rights' and not 'responsibilities'," Umholtz said. "Inherent in the act of possessing, carrying and discharging a firearm is the awesome individual responsibility for one’s actions".