The TelegraphPublished 3:59 pm CDT, Thursday, October 18, 2018
Scott Cousins | Telegraph File Photo
In this April 2016 file photo, Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons holds a copy of the “magic sign” that must be displayed to prohibit people with concealed carry permits from taking firearms into a building.
EDWARDSVILLE — In advance of a “pro-gun rally” set to be held outside the Madison County Courthouse next week, Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons on Thursday said he will support citizens’ rights to concealed carry in the county, specifically on the sidewalks and courtyard areas around the county’s Administration Building and Courthouse.
“Together with Madison County Sheriff John Lakin, I am proud to support the rights of citizens to protect themselves, their families and our community by the free exercise of their Second Amendment rights, as provided for in the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act,” Gibbons said in a news release Thursday. The Madison County Friends of the Second Amendment have planned a “pro-gun rally” between the Courthouse and Administration Building for 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25.
“Our Second Amendment rights in Illinois have faced many attacks in recent years,” County Board Member Don Moore, R-Troy, and chairman of the group, said previously of the impetus for the rally. “It is important that elected leaders know that the Second Amendment has strong support in Madison County. We want to send a message to Springfield and Chicago that we support the Second Amendment and that laws that infringe on those rights should be stopped.”
Several speakers will talk in support of the right to concealed carry, and pro-Second Amendment groups will have representatives at the rally.
In June, the County Board approved placing a referendum on the ballot making Madison County a “sanctuary county” for gun owners, although some board members expressed opposition.
On Thursday, Gibbons cited previous case law in support of his opinion regarding the matter.
“Throughout my career as a prosecutor, I have always fought to protect the rights of citizens to be safe from violent crime,” Gibbons said. “To me, a well-trained, well-armed citizen is one of the very best preventive measures against violent criminals!”