CO Shooting Prompts New Call for Concealed Carry in Illinois

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Donnie Pridemore will be the first to tell you everyone deserves the right to be safe. He's a local police officer, a firearms instructor and he's convinced that concealed carry laws make everyone safer from people like James Holmes.

"These are cowards. They don't want to engage somebody who might be able to stop them. They're preying on what they might think are innocent people. This is a domestic terrorism act,” says Pridemore.

In the wake of Friday's tragedy in Aurora there are already calls for tougher gun laws. But Pridemore says more restrictions are not the answer, because ultimately it's not he criminals who'll suffer, it's the law-abiding citizens who'll see their rights taken away.

"That's not the answer. The answer is to protect yourselves and have common sense laws that don't prohibit the rights of honest law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves,” says Pridemore.

Right now qualified residents in nearly every state in America can legally carry a concealed weapon, that is unless you live in Illinois, the only state in the union you cannot carry a hidden firearm.

Second amendment supporters have tried for years to change Illinois' policy on concealed weapons, only to run into staunch opposition from Chicago area politicians.

"Eventually I hope the State of Illinois can see the 49 other states are not wrong,” says

Tim Wells of the Henry County Board.

He adds Illinois residents deserve the right to defend themselves.

And while concealed carry may not change the outcome of an incident like Friday morning's shootings, supporters say at least residents would have the chance to save themselves or their loved ones.

"As a police officer I feel qualified I can say this: 'When seconds count, the police are only minutes away,’” says Pridemore.