NIU reflects on conceal carry proposals

By Logan Love

Illinois citizens are facing conceal and carry proposals in the wake of a federal court ruling.

Darren Mitchell, acting chief of the NIU Police Department, said the department is paying attention to what is happening in regard to conceal and carry and how it would be implemented. Mitchell said the department would be prepared for the outcome but objected to students carrying weapons on campus.

“Our goal is to protect citizens’ rights and we’re going to do everything we can to protect citizens’ rights,” Mitchell said.

A Dec. 11 ruling from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has mandated that Illinois legislators must pass a law permitting the carrying of concealed weapons by June. Judge Richard Posner ordered the legislature to “craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment…on the carrying of guns in public” in Moore v. Madigan.

Mitchell hoped the new legislation wouldn’t permit guns on college campuses.

“My position is the fewer guns on this campus, the better; the fewer guns on any college campuses, the better,” Mitchell said. “Obviously guns are used by citizens to protect themselves, but bad guys use them to hurt people, My preference would be to limit the amount of guns on this campus.”

Junior philosophy major Chris Anderson believes citizens, even students, should be able to protect themselves.

“I think students should be allowed to carry on campus,” Anderson said. “There’s obviously some stigma and personal feelings in regards to firearms at NIU, but the overwhelming majority of adult human beings are sensible enough to understand how dangerous firearms are.”

Anderson said conceal and carry is like other privileges U.S. citizens have.

“If we can trust people to drive cars without running over people who make them angry, then we can trust people to carry guns and not to shoot people who make them angry,” Anderson said.

The new law would make Illinois the last state in the union to permit the carrying of concealed weapons. Many Illinois legislators who witness gun violence weekly in Chicago have voiced their opposition to the measure. Among them is Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, requested a re-hearing in regard to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’s decision. Her request was rejected. Madigan has a chance at stopping the measure by appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, but is unsure if she will do so, according to the Chicago Tribune.