Rep. Joe Walsh: Legalize Loaded, Concealed Guns in Illinois

| by Brady Campaign

WASHINGTON -- Republican Rep. Joe Walsh, (IL-08) has some explaining to do. The Daily Herald and Huffington Post today reported that the freshman who represents the Northwest Chicago suburbs and is a member of the Tea Party Caucus, told an audience at a Tea Party forum in Huntley, Ill. Tuesday that he would fight to legalize the carrying of loaded, hidden weapons in his state. Currently Illinois prohibits the carrying of loaded guns by private citizens.

But Walsh's impassioned support for carrying loaded guns went far beyond the typical rhetoric of self-defense. "The most important amendment in that Bill of Rights is the Second Amendment," Walsh said, according to the Daily Herald. "It protects every other amendment. It is the last line of defense between us and our government."

The Brady Campaign believes Walsh's statements raise serious and troubling questions.

"The people of Illinois deserve an explanation from Joe Walsh. Is he saying Illinois needs to legalize the carrying of hidden, loaded guns to allow residents to threaten violence against the government?," asked Brady Acting President Dennis Henigan. "If this what he means, who in the government is he talking about? The elected officials the concealed carriers disagree with? Law enforcement officers engaged in protecting public safety? This kind of radical rhetoric has consequences. It is truly chilling to hear an elected official appear to justify violence as a political remedy for individuals dissatisfied with the results of our democratic process."