Your right to carry: Part 2


Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Photojournalist - David Dycus

MARION, Ill. - The 168 pages of Illinois' new concealed carry law weighs almost two pounds and is more than an inch thick.

Herrin attorney Daniel Kay says despite all the legal language, you don't have to have a law degree to understand it. He teaches a free legal class every week that's open to the public.

"I think it is a fantastic starter mission for us to try to get the conversation, get the ball rolling and hopefully people can go out in their community and try to carry the issue forward," he said.

Kay partnered with the Williamson County Sheriff's office late last year to offer an overview of some of the new law. The class isn't required, but he says it gives applicants a better perspective of the law that's not covered during the safety training.

"The amount of material that they are required to go through in that 16 hours is so dense. It's really hard to digest intelligently what is required of them," Kay told Local 6.

A large portion of the two hour class involves cases of self defense. Kay said there is a fine line between what is perceived as self defense and aggression.

"What's legal versus what's the good practice - there is a world of difference."

The law outlines elements of self defense which include:

   - Force is threatened against a person

   - The person threatened is not the aggressor

   - The force threatened is unlawful and

   - The danger of harm is imminent

Simply put, the law doesn't always protect you.

"The myth that people have that somebody comes into my home under these circumstances, I can just blow them away. No - that's not true and that's kind of a huge shock for people to kinda really wrap their mind around those scenarios," Kay said.

"It's just a completely different kind of lifestyle," said Deputy Brian Murrah.

Williamson County Deputy Brian Murrah said downstate residents love their guns - and the numbers back him up. 75% of the state's 23,000 applicants are from rural counties, including the 15 in our viewing area. He encourages parents to talk to their kids about guns to take the mystery out of it.

"Whether it's Christmas presents in December or a short-gun in the closet, if it’s mysterious, they are going to have that curiosity," he said.

If you'd like to participate in the concealed carry classes, you can contact the Williamson County Sheriff's office.