County says no to concealed carry law By Joseph Witthaus Centralia Sentinel Carlyle - The question of whether or not concealed carry legislation should be placed on the November ballot in Clinton County was discussed for several minutes by the Clinton County Board Monday evening. In an 8 to 3 vote, with one member abstaining and two members absent, the board elected not to place the question of whether the General Assembly should enact legislation to allow for the carrying of concealed firearms before the voters at the General Election to be held on Nov. 4. A number of trustees and county officials also expressed their opinions on the matter prior to the vote. Board Trustee Robert Fix stated that, as a police officer, he was not 100 percent certain in regard to his feelings about the proposed legislation. Trustee Jim Sullivan seconded Fix's position by information the board that his former occupation as a police officer also caused him to have mixed feelings. "I can't see the use for firearms on anyone," said Sullivan explaining that policemen follow all required firearms training prior to being issued a firearm. Trustee Don Murray state that if the average citizen could carry a concealed weapon, then the possibility of criminals obtaining firearms could be ever greater, even with the implementation of required background checks for all citizens who apply for a gun license. Murray also asked that Clinton County Sheriff Mike Kreke weigh in on the situation, considering his position with the county. According to Kreke, the legislation, as presented to the board, does not contain enough specific information in regard to the subject other than being able to carry a concealed firearms. "There's just not enough there," he stated. "The way it's presented now, you just get to carry weapons." In defense of the proposed legislation, board Chairman Ray Kloeckner expressed to the board that it made no difference whether the legislative question was placed on the ballot or not. Other various members of the board in support of the legislation also informed the board that the question would simply be placed on the ballot to gain a sense of county residents' opinions on the matter and would not be automatically enacted. County Clerk Tom LaCaze, while unable to vote on the issue due to his elected position in the county, supported the proposed legislation by openly expressing his approval of firearms. "We should be able to carry guns," he stated simply to those in attendance, defending that firearms are often needed for proper protection in today's society. LaCaze also cited the extensive training that police often have to through to earn the right to defend themselves, and that the average citizen has the right to defend themselves as well.