SPRING GROVE – Illinois and Wisconsin are the only two states that totally prohibit carrying concealed handguns.
That’s neither fair nor safe, Spring Grove resident Lou Rofrano said, so he’s working to change that. Rofrano has launched a pro-gun rights group called the McHenry County Right to Carry Association. His goal is to demonstrate to legislators that there’s support for right to carry laws in the northern collar counties.
“It’s almost as if you were issued a driver’s license and it wasn’t good in every state,” said Rofrano, 56. “[For] people who feel it’s important to have the right to self-protection ... right now in Illinois, that right is denied.”
He first began looking into the issue last year when a string of burglaries happened in Spring Grove.
Rofrano’s home wasn’t burglarized, but he said the incident was disconcerting. He said it wasn’t until then that he became aware of the “inequity” within state laws. During his research, he said he became particularly concerned about the consequences that a lack of concealed carry law in Illinois could have for women.
“This is also a women’s rights issue. Women are most frequently the victim of the most heinous crimes,” he said. “It’s unfair to say a woman in Indiana or Missouri can defend herself in a manner she chooses but in Illinois, that option is not available to her.”
Rofrano is planning a kickoff event for the association from 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 21 at Lakemoor Banquets, 28874 W. Rand Road, Lakemoor.
Rofrano and a representative from another pro-gun rights group, Illinois Carry, will speak at the event. Eighth District congressional candidate Joe Walsh, as well as possibly other candidates, also will speak. The event is free and open to the public.
Lee Lexow, vice president of the McHenry County Sportsmen’s Association, hopes Rofrano’s group is well received.
“Illinois is so strange about this. The argument here is they think we’ll have the Wild West shootout, but they’ve never happened anywhere with law-abiding citizens doing that,” Lexow said.
Anyone interested in joining the association can attend the Jan. 21 event or send a letter of interest to McHenry County Right to Carry, P.O. Box 24, Spring Grove, IL 60081.