(CBS) — It’s now legal to carry a concealed weapon in Illinois. Gun owners will have to undergo 16 hours of training and pay $150. Indiana has allowed people to pack heat for two years. CBS 2’s Jim Williams went there to see how it works.
Lester Johnson is a 62-year-old Vietnam veteran and has a wife and kids he says he wants to protect, so he has a firearms ID card which allows him to carry a concealed gun in Indiana.
“When people know you’re carrying a gun, nobody is going to do anything to you,” said Johnson.
Unlike Illinois, in Indiana Johnson can go into a bar with his gun.
In Indiana, a restaurant might keep you out for bad attire, but it has to serve you if you’re lawfully packing a pistol.
Jon Eder, owner of Beggar’s Pizza in Whiting, fears what might happen someday.
“Eventually there is going to somebody who will probably pull it out in a fight or argument or something,” said Eder.
Still, Eder has made his peace with the concealed carry law and so has Whiting Mayor Joseph Stahura.
Asked if he can recall any incidents where someone with a legal right to carry a firearm pulled it out at an inappropriate time or got into a fight, Stahula said, “I think there have probably been a few minor incidents like that. i think a more common incident is where people try to flaunt they’re right to be able to do that.”
Lester Johnson insists he doesn’t want to flaunt his gun ownership, saying “it’s only for my self-protection.”
Johnson says he’s never had to use his weapon. Now, Illinois bans guns in more places> than Indiana. Still, in the Hoosier State, you cannot carry a pistol in schools, courts, casinos, airplanes and the state fair.