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Concealed Carry Info Workshop Sparks Angry Calls, Emails

Chambers of commerce promoting the event on behalf of member State Rep. Natalie Manley (D-Joliet) took some heat on Friday for what Manley said is a strictly informational event.

A flyer describing the April 28 concealed carry event. Credit: Screenshot, http://business.bolingbrook.org/
A flyer describing the April 28 concealed carry event. Credit: Screenshot, http://business.bolingbrook.org/
The Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce announced on Friday that it's asked to be removed from a list of hosts for an info session on concealed carry hosted by State Rep. Natalie Manley (D-Joliet) after getting calls and emails complaining about the event.

"Concealed Carry: What You Need to Know" is open to business owners and managers and is billed as an information session on Illinois' new concealed carry law and how it impacts businesses. 

The event, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Monday at Rasmussen College's Joliet/Romeoville campus, has been promoted by the chambers of commerce in Plainfield, Romeoville and Bolingbrook on behalf of Manley, who is a chamber member.

However, some took issue with the event sponsor, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, a nonprofit that says it "focuses on the importance of handgun violence prevention and handgun control by informing individuals of gun laws." 

"They have assured me that there is no agenda," Manley said, explaining that the group's presentation will be strictly informational pertaining to the new concealed carry law. 

Manley said Friday that the council is just one of the presenters at the event. Brandon Nemec, a Cook County assistant state's attorney in the legislative unit, is also slated to be there to explain the ins and outs of the law. 

Manley said she also hopes to have representatives from the Illinois State Police and local law enforcement, as well as a certified concealed carry instructor, at the event to answer questions.

"There is no agenda," Manley said of the event, which she said she organized after getting questions about how the law works. "It is not a pro- or anti-gun rally. ... It is 100 percent informational — what does the law mean for [businesses] and what are their rights under the law. I have a lot of people that have asked me to do this."

Patch received an email Friday morning accusing the chambers of partnering with "gun grabbers" to host "gun control workshops behind closed doors and on an invitation-only basis."

But according to Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tasha Menard, the chamber was simply promoting a member event.

"Our chamber doesn't take political stances," Menard said, adding that it's against the PACC bylaws to do so. "We have asked to have our name removed as a host," she said. "We will promote it, but we don't take a stance."

Menard posted a notice on the Plainfield chamber's Facebook page Friday after receiving numerous calls and emails about the event.

"The phones have not stopped ringing," she said late Friday morning. She said the Bolingbrook and Romeoville chambers have also received calls.

Bolingbrook chamber Executive Director Michael Carpanzano said he's also received questions about the event.

"This is strictly an education and information session for businesses of all types," he said. "It's about what businesses can and can't do, not what they should or shouldn't do ... At this point, all we're doing is inviting our members to it, but it's open to anyone."
American Citizen April 26, 2014 at 11:54 AM
Boycott all businesses in these towns that promote this behavior stand up for your rights become a member of the ISRA and NRA.
Matt April 27, 2014 at 06:25 PM
I still can't believe people voted Manley in. She was arrested for assaulting her own daughter and people still voted for this violent hypocrite.
Matt April 27, 2014 at 06:29 PM
If some business is going to stop me from being able to defend myself, then I will definitely be taking my money elsewhere.
Steve Lobber April 27, 2014 at 06:53 PM
Representative Manley voted against every concealed carry bill in the House, Brandon Nemec is known for his anti-gun stance, and ICAGV goal is to have all privately owned guns confiscated. But Manley, the gerrymandered Representative, claims it is just an informational presentation! Ask yourself why Manley and her anti-gun group need to bring in a COOK COUNTY States Attorney, rather than a Will County SA? Isn't Bolingbrook and Romeoville in Will County? I wonder if it is because the Will County SA does not share Manley's and the anti-gun groups ideas on the new CC law? Their presentation is akin to PETA giving a presentation on selecting the best fur coat, or Vegans providing a class on the proper method for grilling a T-bone steak. Really Manley, we are not that gullible. Look at the flyer - "presentations by the Illinois Council Against Hand Gun Violence" Look at the picture - someone placing a "No Gun" sign in a window. It is probably in the best interest for the Bolingbrook ACC to get rid of their executive director, since he seems to be pushing this blatantly political presentation. The rank and file members of the BACC should let the board know their dissatisfaction with that Executive Director (which came from Romeoville, before being hired by BACC) Plainfield ACC took the proper action by disassociating themselves with this biased anti-gun presentation, Bolingbrook and Romeoville should do the same.

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