Concealed Carry Opponent to Speak at Darst Center

By Casey Cora on May 10, 2013 6:58am 

 The Darst Center's May programming centers on gun violence.
The Darst Center's May programming centers on gun violence.
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CHICAGO — A leader of one of the state’s leading gun control groups will be in Bridgeport to discuss handgun violence and advocate for stricter gun laws.

The talk by Mark Walsh, campaign director for the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at the Brother David Darst Center for Justice, Peace, Spirituality and Education, 2834 S. Normal Ave.

“Basically, what I’ll talk about is an overview of gun violence in Illinois and Chicago and some of the things we’re working on legislative side,” Walsh said.

Much of the talk will center on the debate in Springfield regarding concealed carry laws. Illinois remains the only state without a concealed carry law on the books.

In December, a federal appellate court ruled the state law banning concealed carry of guns was unconstitutional and ordered lawmakers to pass a new law regulating concealed carry by June 9. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has requested more time to decide whether to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, lawmakers continue working under the June 9 deadline.

“We as an organization have been opposed to concealed carry and still are,” Walsh said, adding that if it's bound to become law, the group will advocate for training and for strict regulations on where people can carry guns.

The group has also pushed for background checks for prospective handgun buyers and for firearm owners to report their weapons lost or stolen.

“We think these are two great way to deter from guns entering the state,” he said.

Walsh’s talk is part of the Darst Center’s monthly focus on a social issue. This month, it’s gun violence. The talk is free and open to the public.

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