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Letter to Governor Quinn, Attorney General Madigan, Speaker Madigan, Representative Cross, Senators Cullerton and Radogno

Dear Governor Quinn, Attorney General Madigan, Speaker Madigan, Representative Cross, Senators Cullerton and Radogno

As you are well aware, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin recently signed legislation legalizing concealed carry in his state. In doing so, Wisconsin became the 49th state to recognize this Second Amendment freedom and made Illinois the sole state in the nation which refuses to do so.

Exceptionalism can often be a positive thing, but in this case it is a mark of shame. IN refusing to pass legislation legalizing concealed carry, Illinois is denying its law-abiding citizens the ability to protect themselves, their families, and their property.

Self defenses is a fundamental right, and the Supreme court has recognized that in two recent rulings. In District of Colombia v Heller (2008) the Supreme Court rules that the Second Amendment guarantees and individuals right to possess a firearm. In McDonald v Chicago (2010), they rules that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for self defense in one's home is fully applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. We agree with the Supreme Court and believe that the citizens of Illinois deserve to have the same protections afforded tot hem as the citizens of the other 49 states.

After numerous court cases and years of real world practice and legal precedent, the safety and practicality of concealed carry has been proven time and time again. Twenty three states have adopted right to carry laws since 1991 and in that time violence crime has declined by 43 percent. The FBI has also reported that total violent crime and murder dropped more than six percent during the first half of 2010.

Research on right to carry laws has shown them to be a deterrent to crime and a useful tool for self defense. Criminologist Gark Kleck analyzed National Crime Victimization Surveys and concluded, "robbery and assault victims who used a gun to resist were less likely to be attacked or to suffer an injury than those who used any other methods of self protection or those who did not resist at all." A study for the Department of Justice found that 34 percent of felons had been "scared off, shot at, wounded or captured by an armed victim" and 40 percent of felons have not committed crimes, fearing potential victims were armed.

It is time for the Illinois legislature to act, and permit Illinoisans to join the rest of the nation in their ability to carry concealed weapons for self defense.

Randy Hultgren
Member of Congress

Judy Biggert
Member of Congress

Peter Roskam,
Member of Congress

Jerry Costello
Member of Congress

Bobby Shilling
Member of Congress

Tim Johnson
Member of Congress

Aaron Schock
Member of Congress

Adam Kinzinger
Member of Congress

John Shimkus
Member of Congress

Donald Manzullo
Member of Congress

Joe Walsh
Member of Congress

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