CHICAGO (CBS) — Activists staged a protest Thursday over Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s decision to wait until the legislature follows a court order and passes a new concealed carry law, rather than appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports a dozen activists wore official NRA pistol targets like sandwich boards as they staged a rally inside the Thompson Center, where Madigan’s Chicago office is located.
The activists wandered around the Thompson Center atrium in a bit of indoor street theater to get Madigan’s attention.
“We’re here to ask the Attorney General of Illinois, Lisa Madigan, to do her job,” said Lee Goodman, with the Stop Concealed Carry coalition. “Madigan is acting like an attorney who tells a client who’s been sentenced to death that she’s not going to appeal until after the client is executed.”
In December, a federal appeals court struck down the state’s ban on carrying concealed firearms in Illinois, and gave the Illinois General Assembly until June 9 to pass concealed carry legislation, or anyone in the state will be allowed to carry a concealed weapon without restriction.
The Illinois General Assembly has been debating a number of concealed carry measures, but has yet to craft a comprehensive proposal. Madigan has said she wants to wait and see whether lawmakers come up with a new concealed carry law, as the court ordered.
Madigan is in a potential political lose-lose situation, should she run for governor. If she appeals the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, she’d give Republican opponents ammunition against her; if not, she’d give her Democratic opponents ammo.
Rev. Wendy Witt, an associate pastor at the Chicago Temple down the street from the Thompson Center, said “such is the game of politics, right? You’ve got to be willing to take a stand.”
Legal observers also have said, should Madigan appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, the move might put strict limits on concealed carry in other states at risk.
The protesters said their only interest was safety.
“We have very little interest in political pitfalls. We’re here to save lives,” Goodman said.
David Borris, president of Chicago Area Peace Action said, “believe me, there’s going to be all the Dirty Harry wannabes that are gonna see that purse get snatched, and they’re going to want to drop to one knee, and start shooting.”
Madigan has until late May to decide whether to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.