Nearly a month after the Illinois General Assembly overrode Governor Pat Quinn’s veto of the state’s long-awaited concealed carry law, one lawmaker is attempting to add an amendment. Illinois was the last state to enact a concealed carry law and the latest attempt to alter it is a state senator’s campaign to ban concealed weapons from houses of worship.
State Sen. Dan Kotowski, a suburban Chicago Democrat and a one-time gun control lobbyist, first floated the idea of banning such weapons in July while the General Assembly was out of session.
On July 9, with a 30-day extension to enact some type of concealed carry law, Illinois ratified it by an override of Governor Quinn’s veto. Present in the debate preceding the vote were arguments about the lengths to which citizens are allowed to carry concealed weapons. After much debate and several pieces of defeated legislation, a compromise bill finally emerged that left nearly everyone on both sides unhappy. In the end, concealed weapons were prohibited from buses, trains, casinos, government buildings, hospitals, and alcoholic establishments that earn less than half their income from food.
Kotowski insists that omitting a ban on concealed weapons in churches in the original law was an oversight. As it stands, churches are permitted to post signage stating that concealed weapons are prohibited from the premises.
Explaining his position, Sen Kotowski said, “There are certain places where guns should be off-limits. Churches, as sanctuaries, are among them.” Going on, Kotowski continued, saying that ministers he consulted, “believe that when you go into a house of worship you’re going to pray, reflect and make the most of this period of silence.”
However, not all Illinois pastors are of the same mind. Charles Burton of Unity Fellowship Church in Godfrey, northeast of St. Louis, supports the amendment, saying he “refuses to be governed by fear.” Yet, Pastor Cory Respondek of Living Water Church in Cahokia, also in southern Illinois, says churches should be able to decide for themselves. Also, a head of security for a church in Collinsville supports letting concealed weapons in, but would like to know who is carrying. He also added, “I don’t believe your rights as an American stop when you walk through the door.”
Kotowski says he spoke with Chicago-area pastors, four years after a pastor was murdered in 2009, before he introduced his proposed amendment. It was in the downstate town of Maryville where a Baptist pastor was killed during Sunday services. The shooter, who had no apparent connection to the church, was deemed clinically insane and unfit to stand trial. A potential snag in Kotowski’s plan is how a ban would have prevented shootings like the one in Maryville.
The Sen Kotowski campaign to ban concealed weapons from houses of worship also introduces more issues of constitutionality to the state’s concealed carry law. in this episode, Illinoisans may begin asking whether this amounts to the state government stepping into the realm of the church. Specifically, this proposed amendment deals with what worshipers may be allowed to bring into the building, a not-for-profit entity.
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Does this idiot think that someone with the intentions of murdering will give a hoot about some dumb law prohibiting guns in some places? I mean if they do not care about the law of murder or dealing drugs, will they care about some law about guns not being allowed in certain places?
I get a eerie feeling when I see those signs banning weapons in stores and government buildings ... going in knowing that only the lawless would potentially be the only armed individuals if anything happened while I am inside.
Twit. I know of one church that has a sign thanking the parishioners for the extra security. It should be up to the church, or any other establishment
Churches can make their own rules about what is permissible within their walls. Kotowski should quit messing with the churches and maybe spend more time in one.
Used to be only the Bar hoppers carried weapons in our civilization. Where is our civilization headed with these Moron legislaters?
I think there are waaaaay too many Morons, such as Zimmerman who should not be issued a concealed carry permit.
Senator Kotowski would prefer that Jeanne Assam had been unarmed the day that a murdering lunatic killed two innocent people in the parking lot of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. The Senator would prefer that Jeanne Assam have confronted a heavily armed murder with nothing more than her empty hands, instead of the legally carried pistol that Jeanne Assam used to stop the killing spree.
Senator Kotowski is vile, even by the appalling standards of Chicago politics.
The point I'm making is that the only way to tell if people are following this rule is if they make EVERYONE walk through a metal detector.
How many churches will do that? And what message does it send to the congregation?
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Oh, they're illegal in churches? Certainly, that means no one will take guns into churches, right?
Legislators are idiots.
If my church bragged that it didn't allow concealed carry, I would not go there anymore. You can rest assured that these will be places where crimes will occur.
Personally, I think it should be up to the church...just because you are authorized to have a concealed weapon doesn't mean that you can have the weapon wherever you go.
I personally see no reason anyone but law enforcement need concealed weapons, but at some point common sense should prevail rather than including every potential circumstance listed in legislation. I imagine any persons carrying a weapons into a church likely needs not have the weapon anyway.
There is no need for this amendment, a church can decide if they want to be a gun free facility churches are a prime target for an armed person to enter the church and rob it or shoot up the place unless there is an armed person in the church.
I don't think it is completely unreasonable to tell people they can't carry concealed weapons in a church. I would think religious leaders would be on board with this. It's not about giving into fear. It is about common sense.
This is kind of a tricky situation. Not sure if the government wants to get involved with rules within a place of worship, but again it's a public safety concern, just as how other laws apply to the establishment.
I am more worried about the morons opening their big mouths and restricting the rights of other people they simply disagree with. Like that one you see in the mirror. The "Morons" who randomly capitalize letters that aren't supposed to be capitalized, and insult and judge other people whom they have never even met or talked to. The same morons who don't know anything about history, let alone firearm history and ownership, or legislation (and the legislatOrs* who write it).
Next time before you call people morons, maybe at least hit spell check, be sure you managed to actually make a provable point, and perhaps lay off the sauce.. because you are the worst kind of moron.. The kind who thinks everyone who disagrees with you is unintelligent.
I find it odd that this is a discussion considering Jesus was a severe pacifist and likely wouldn't own a gun if they existed in his time.
Rhetorical gun love completely ignores reality.
Concealed carry should be forbidden in all public places. Any private place open to the public (businesses) ought to be able to allow CC by posting the fact on its premises.
We have already had church shootings.
And we've also already had church shootings that were stopped by a member of the congregation who was legally carrying a concealed weapon.
So is there seperation of church and state, or isn't there? The church can't influence the government whatsoever, but the government can dictate rules for churches? You can't have it both ways.
What is "common sense" about the government telling churches how to run their affairs?
Maybe the state shold be issuing rules about what hymns to sing, while they're at it?
And yet Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi thought the most treacherous thing that Britain did to India was to disarm it. He was a real war monger eh? Just to help out, because you don't seem capable of understanding it, someone can be peaceful, and still want to use a gun to protect innocent people.
Of course it is, Chicago is the diamond example of a corrupt, fascist, backwards group of delinquents. They have never had a straight, uncorrupt politician in a hundred years or more.. give them some credit, they have been wallowing in it for many years, so they have had plenty of time to perfect the recipe.
There have been church shootings across the nation. Most states have left it up to the individual building owners and many churches have allowed CCLs. But then Illinois seems to enjoy being the most backwards assed state in the Union.