BELLEVUE, WA—Criminal charges filed against a suburban Chicago-area homeowner who defended his family by shooting a repeat burglar are an “outrage” that can be blamed on “regressive, Draconian Illinois gun laws,” the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said today.

Hale DeMar of Wilmette, IL has reportedly been charged with violating a local ordinance banning handguns, and for violating state law by not having an Illinois Firearms Owners Identification Card (FOID) for the banned handgun. Wilmette Police Chief George Carpenter said his department prefers, “for the safety of the home, that a resident who finds himself in this situation immediately lock the door of the room he’s in and dial 911.”

“Prosecuting Hale DeMar is outrageous,” declared CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “And Chief Carpenter’s patronizing attitude about facing an immediate and unavoidable threat is shameful, if not downright despicable. Mr. DeMar fired a handgun to defend his family against a thug who evidently had invaded his home two nights in a row. If Chief Carpenter is so concerned about public safety, why hadn’t his department taken Morio Billings, the suspect, off the streets long before he was in the DeMar residence, where he was shot?

“Carpenter has the audacity to claim that Wilmette residents are much safer without a handgun in the home,” Gottlieb added. “What he’s really saying is that burglars and home invaders are a lot safer if they enter unarmed Wilmette homes, and he seems eager to maintain that safe working environment for criminals.”

Gottlieb also challenged Carpenter’s allegations that handguns in the home can be stolen, or contribute to domestic violence or suicides.

“Tell me something, Chief,” Gottlieb demanded, “is there a handgun in your home?”

The DeMar case underscores what happens under the regressive Illinois gun laws, Gottlieb noted. He said these laws, which prohibit law-abiding citizens from having the means to defend themselves, amount to “a set of hunting regulations for criminals.”

“Laws that prevent crime victims from defending themselves are simply irresponsible,” Gottlieb observed. “Laws that punish crime victims if they do defend themselves are insidious.”