The Latest in Illinois’ Nascent Concealed Carry Law

On July 9, Governor Quinn executed the highly publicized “veto” in regard to the new concealed carry legislation.  On the same day, the Illinois lawmakers overturned the veto.  Gun owners and concealed carry enthusiasts marked the day as a victory for 2nd Amendment rights.  However, this does not mean that one may begin to carry their firearm in their waistband immediately.  The new law will probably not take effect until 2014 and even when it does, it will be accompanied by a litany of rules and regulations that a prospective concealed carry proponent must meet before adhering a firearm to their body.  Under the last-in-the-nation concealed carry law Illinois State Police have 180 days to set up a program before accepting applications, plus an additional 90 days to process the forms.  The Illinois State Police defines conceal carry as,” a loaded or unloaded handgun carried on or about a person completely or mostly concealed from view of the public or on or about a person within a vehicle.”   A handgun is characterized as, “any device which is designed to expel a projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosion, expansion of gas, or escape of gas that is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand.”

Furthermore, even if an individual were to comply with all the necessary hurdles and granted a concealed carry license the individual would still be prohibited from carrying the firearm in certain places.  Those places include, schools, parks, government facilities, busses, trains, and bars and restaurants where alcohol comprises more than 50% of total sales (so don’t forget to look into that before going to have dinner).  Additionally, if you come to Illinois from another state believing that you may carry a concealed firearm because you are licensed in your home state, you would be mistaken.  The new Illinois law will not grant reciprocity for out-of-state citizens.

Some of the rules and regulations that Illinois residents can look forward to before receiving a concealed carry license include, properly executing an application, prompt payment of fees and other administrative expenses, and having a state authorized certificate illustrating the completion of a gun safety training class. According to the Illinois State Police website, the training course must be at least 16-hours long. All these regulations have not sat well with the good people of Illinois.  On July 19, 2013 gun right advocates filed a complaint in Illinois district court challenging the amount of time citizens must wait before having the opportunity to carry a concealed firearm.  Gun right advocates claim that the waiting period causes harm by abrogating 2nd Amendment rights.  The state of Illinois has answered back stating, that the gun right advocates complaint is vague and does not specify with certainty how the waiting period will harm citizens of Illinois.

With any new law comes new interpretation of that law and it is more than foreseeable that Illinois residents will be arrested for conducting-what they believe- to be lawful activity.  It will no doubt take decades for case law to round out what is lawful and unlawful under this new statute.  As an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney, I care about making sure that the parameters of this new law are just and constitutional.

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