NIU President John G. Peters today released a letter to Illinois media stating his continued opposition to Illinois House Bill 148, which would permit Illinoisans, age 21 and older, to carry concealed weapons.
“Supporters of this bill argue that it will make it easier for responsible owners of registered weapons to protect themselves. I know from bitter experience, however, that any such law is more likely to put all of us at greater risk from irresponsible, under-trained or inexperienced gun owners,” he said in the statement.
Peters and university presidents and chancellors from around the state have been monitoring this issue closely for several months. In early April, they sent a letter to every Illinois legislator urging that any legislation include an exemption that would essentially ban carrying weapons anywhere on a college or university campus in Illinois.
Earlier this week, a general exemption was added to the legislation. However, upon detailed review, Peters said that he still does not support the legislation as written due to loopholes that he believes seriously undermine the exemption.
“The exemption banning guns from college and university campuses must be comprehensive and complete,” Peters said. “As it stands, House Bill 148 does little or nothing to make our campuses or our communities safer. I am urging our lawmakers to reject this bill.”