Illinois Concealed Carry Laws
The 2008 landmark case, District of Columbia v. Heller posited many conflicting interpretations of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. It provided, in part, a “guarantee [of] the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” Additionally the Supreme Court of the United States stated, the right of self-defense applies with significant force “to the home, where the need for defense of self, family, and property is most acute.” However, the Court also emphasized that their ruling does not protect “the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation.” Historically, Illinois has never allowed an individual to carry a concealed firearm and remains the only state in our country that forbids the concealment of firearms by a person anywhere but inside the home. With that said, the tides of change seem to be crashing on the door of the state’s legislature.
A Change in Illinois Concealed Carry Laws?
As of late, politicians in the state of Illinois are at odds concerning recent legislation that would abrogate the long-standing rule, forbidding the carrying of a concealed firearm in public. At one end of the spectrum is a rogue Illinois state prosecutor who refuses to prosecute any person arrested for disobeying the historical law. At the other end, is the Governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn. Mr. Quinn is not in support of the new legislative bill allowing the carrying of a concealed weapon in public. He has stated, “We need strong gun safety laws that protect the people of our state. Instead, this measure puts public safety at risk.” Additionally Quinn said, “I will not support this bill and I will work with members of the Illinois Senate to stop it in its tracks.” Subsequent to these protestations a federal court held that a rule banning the right to carry a concealed firearm unconstitutional.
The Current Status
Currently, the federal court has given the Illinois legislation until July 9, 2013 to construct a bill that would pass constitutional muster in regard to the carrying of a concealed firearm in public places. The proposed legislation says any Illinois resident with a Firearm Owners’ Identification card can get a concealed carry permit after passing a background check, undergoing lengthy training and paying a fee. Law enforcement agencies can object to an application by notifying a governor-appointed review board. If no law is passed, gun-right advocates say that anyone may carry a concealed weapon at any time, but others believe that the power to enact law flows to the Illinois municipalities. Complicating the situation even further, the Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan has been granted an extension by the federal appeals court giving her until July 22 to appeal the court order.
If you find yourself mixed up in this complicated change in law or just want to know what your rights are at this point regarding a concealed firearm, contact a qualified Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney.