Chicago citizens with the legal right to walk the streets with loaded firearms at their leisure brings a new challenge to a city where violent street gangs all too often hold shootouts, despite some of the nation’s toughest restriction on guns.
As Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn mulls whether to sign off on eliminating the country’s last concealed carry ban, the question in Chicago is whether it will matter in the crime-weary city. Will a place that long had one of the tightest bans on handguns be more at risk? Or will it be safer with a law that can only add to the number of guns already on the street?
Neighborhood leaders, anti-crime activists and police officials worry about additional mayhem in Chicago. But other residents, including some who live in Chicago’s more violent areas, believe more guns will allow them to defend themselves better.
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