Citizens boarding public transit buses may soon be able to get on board while carrying a gun. A new bill, proposed in the Illinois House, would make public transportation one of the places that would allow concealed weapons.
Officials from the Rockford Mass Transit District oppose the proposal. They fear that a gun on a crowded bus puts public safety at risk,
Lisa Brown of RMTD says, “The more people you have (on a bus) the more energies you have, (and) the more negative energies you could have. It’s not a good idea to have guns in a situation with a lot of people in a small space.”
But State Representative of the 69th District, Joe Sosnowski, says studies have shown that crime decreases anywhere concealed carry is allowed.
He says, “There is actually a greater sense of safety when people are allowed to carry a concealed (weapon), and you know public transportation and areas where they’re not allowed… end up being more dangerous.”
Local bus riders are split on the bill. Bus rider Deron Coble says “A fight could break out, and a person could pull out a gun, and an innocent bystander could get shot, or murdered.”
Bus rider Michael Schwartz counters, “The Second Amendment right is to bear arms to fight against tyranny. Of course, the people having guns have to have background checks.”
Brown says they are working with the Illinois Public Transportation Association to convince lawmakers to changes lanes, but if that doesn’t happen, they will have to comply with the law.
She says, “We will fight it until the end, but if it doesn’t go in our favor, obviously, we will have to support the law, and look internally into tightening up our safety measures.”
The bill would also allow concealed carry at public parks and athletic facilities.