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Concealed Carry Hits Henry County

CAMBRIDGE – A Henry County man is trying to get a question on the November ballot which asks residents to vote on the concealed carry debate.

Board Member Jon Zahm campaigned with his son Sam, asking people if they’d support a vote on the issue. He went door to door with his son, asking people to sign a petition.

“Illinois is the only state in the country which doesn’t allow some form of open or conceal carry,” Zahm said to a local resident.

The concealed carry debate comes after the Colorado Massacre on July 20th. Rock Island County already has a question on its November ballot which deals with the concealed carry issue.

“If they’re allowed to own the gun,” Zahm said, “we feel like they should be allowed to carry the gun.”

Zahm met some people who welcomed him with open arms. Others though, think he’s a solicitor. Nonetheless, he doesn’t think the door to door knocking is as hard to do as people think.

“People like the personal contact,” Zahm said about the door to door visits. “They don’t like the robo calls though.”

Zahm needs 1,446 signatures to get the initiative on the November 6th ballot. Zahm pitched his idea to residents in a way that doesn’t force them to take a stance on the issue yet.

“You’re not obligated to support the issue,” Zahm said to one resident. “But at least we’ll be able to vote yes or not come the election on November 6th.”

Zahm says he’s gotten a lot of support from people in the county. He also has 20 other people in the county petitioning to get the question on the ballot too.

“For every time I run into one ‘no’, I get about eight or nine yes answers, so it’s a good percentage,” Zahm said. 

The entire state of Illinois has to approve of conceal carry before the law can go into effect. Therefore, even if the issue passes in Henry County, nobody there can legally carry a concealed weapon until the state approves of it.


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