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New Proposal Would Allow Public Housing Renters In Knox County Concealed Carry

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Thousands of people have applied for concealed carry permits in Illinois. 

The Illinois State Police said in Rock Island County, so far there's been 385 applications. There's been 162 applications in Henry County, 166 in Whiteside County and close to 200 applications in Knox County.

The Knox County Housing Authority is taking action now to create a clear policy before those permits are issued.

"We will allow weapons, but it has to be lawful, just like anywhere else," said Executive Director of the Knox County Housing Authority Derek Antoine. 

With the first Illinois concealed carry permits on the way out in the next week, the Knox County Housing Authority, which is government public housing, is taking a proactive step to create policy for its residence who may be getting a lawful permit. 

Within the Concealed Carry Act there are exceptions to where weapons are allowed.

"Units of local government being one of them, that's what we're considered," said Antoine. "But it gets kind of tricky when you're talking about folks private residence and their ability to bare arms."

The Housing Authority has always allowed lawful possession of a weapon and they say it's not changing with the new Concealed Carry Act. 

"The Constitution gives you the right to bear arms and public housing residents are no different in that regard from any other citizen," said Antoine. 

They've created a policy that will allow residents to transport their concealed weapons on and off the property from their units, as long as they're not lingering in their offices, common areas or playgrounds.

"We kind of walk that line between government property and folks private residence, so I think that's at play here as well," said Antoine. "But, you know nothing that we're doing is above or beyond the law or anymore strict than what the law requires and we're not allowed to implement anything that's anymore than what the law would allow."

Residents in public housing at Moon Towers in Galesburg said they're ok with their neighbors having a concealed weapon, but with certain circumstances.

"As long as they're keeping it in the own residence I think that's ok but I just don't like idea of concealed weapons floating about the building and in open areas," said resident Robert Houlihan.

"I can see it in the residence, but taken out of the residence they should have the clip taken out," said resident Sue Bale.

"In a common area, they shouldn't be able to carry them," said resident Joyce Lawrence.

The Knox County Housing Authority's concealed carry policy is currently open for public comment. There will be a public hearing on March 21st. It will then be voted on by the board on March 26th. 

 

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