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Article updated: 7/15/2013 1:57 PM

Kotowski wants to ban guns in places of worship

Dan Kotowski

Dan Kotowski

State Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat, wants guns to be banned from churches.

State Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat, wants guns to be banned from churches.


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SPRINGFIELD -- Even before Illinois' concealed carry law has been fully implemented, state Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat, said he'll be trying to ban loaded guns from churches, temples, mosques and other places of worship.

Legislation approved by lawmakers last week restricts carrying a concealed weapon in parks, schools, casinos and amusement parks, among other places, but churches aren't exempt. Kotowski says he'll try to change that the next time lawmakers meet.

"'Peace be with you' is now 'piece be with you?'" Kotowski tweeted last week.

Property owners can post signs and ban guns, but Kotowski said that puts a burden on religious leaders and some might be tenants.

State Rep. Ed Sullivan, a Mundelein Republican and concealed carry supporter, said it was predictable that opponents would start working to "chip away" at the new law.

Sullivan said churches weren't a part of the negotiations that led to the existing exemptions. He argued the new law should stay in place for a while before lawmakers start trying to change it again.

"If we find problems along the way, then we can address them," Sullivan said.

The Illinois State Police have about six months to create a permit-granting program before people can start getting licenses to carry loaded guns.

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