As of Tuesday, the Illinois Legislature was nearing a vote on whether the state will become the nation's 49th to allow residents to carry concealed handguns.
"It's heating up. We think we're close," said Todd Vandermyde, a NRA lobbyist. "You've got 48 states that have this. That's a statement."
State Rep. Harry Osterman, D-Chicago, a leading opponent of the plan, said "arming this state is going to make more and more people feel that they need to protect themselves, and it could escalate all the handguns that are out there."
If Illinois goes along, Wisconsin will be the last state with a ban.