As Illinois gun owners increasingly are allowed to carry their firearms as they go about their daily lives -- a new poll shows half of Illinois voters feel less safe. Qualifying gun-owners began receiving their licenses to carry loaded firearms earlier this month.
A majority of Illinois voters -- just over 52 percent -- say they feel less safe since Illinois passed a law allowing concealed carry. Findings from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, based at Southern Illinois University, also show 53 percent of Illinois voters surveyed favor what was broadly termed "controlling gun ownership." That's a drop from the more than 59 percent who favored gun control in a similar poll last year.
The Institute's Charles Leonard says last year's survey was conducted just after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
"Once I stop and think about it -- how raw the feelings were in the wake of 20 first graders being killed in their classroom, a year goes by, memories fade, the wounds begin to heal over and I think we return to a more normal level of support for gun control," Leonard says.
Leonard says unless there is a major tragedy he expects that Illinois residents will increasingly accept the state's concealed carry law.