DECATUR -- Concealed carry -- it's a hot topic in Illinois right now. A federal court struck down the state's ban, which kept folks from legally carrying a gun.
Local law enforcement officials are supporting concealed carry, saying it will keep Macon County and the entire state of Illinois more safe.
Macon County Sheriff Tom Schneider is a long-time supporter of concealed carry.
"Cops can't be on every corner... and law-abiding citizens should have the right to protect themselves," Schneider said.
Gun control advocates have made past claims, stating legalizing concealed carry would make Illinois like "the Wild West."
But Schneider told WAND he doesn't see it that way. In fact, he believes the opposite is true.
"I believe the argument would be in favor of the fact that by having people that are trained to protect themselves out there on the streets, they're gonna be more inclined to do the right thing and not the wrong thing," said Schneider.
Concealed carry will likely cause an increase in gun sales, due to more people having the option to legally protect themselves.
But Schneider said he doesn't think this will be an avenue for the bad guys to get a hold of more guns and increase street violence.
The criminal element will always be around, he said, and guns are already in those households.
"But a criminal is going to think twice about harming someone if a person could be carrying a weapon, too."