Law Blog

   Carry and Conceal in Illinois

     It doesn't seem that long ago Illinois changed their law on carry and conceal, but a full two years later there is still smoke in the area. July 9, 2015 marked the two year anniversary of Illinois adapting law allowing carrying firearms publicly.  This all began when the U.S. Court of Appeals (7th District) found Illinois' stand on carry and conceal, based on our Second Amendment rights, was unconstitutional (McEvoy, 2013). After much debate during the 2013 spring legislative session, an overriding of the Governor's amendatory veto, and mere hours before the 7th Circuit's deadline, Illinois passed the new "Firearm Concealed Carry Act" (McEvoy, 2013). The new Act requires a CCL (concealed carry license) from the State Police barring inclusion of required documentation and a $150 fee (McEvoy, 2013). Required documentation includes:

      • fingerprints, 
      • valid FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) card,
      • minimum age of 21,
      • no conviction involving threat or physical force or violence within five (5) years of application,
      • not more than two (2) DUI violations within five (5) years of application,
      • cannot be the subject of a pending arrest warrant, prosecution, or proceeding of offense/action that may disqualify the owning or posession of a firearm,
      • cannot have residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism, detoxification or drug treatment within five (5) years of application;
      • required firearm training (McEvoy, 2013).

Once all the above requirements are fulfilled Illinois "shall" issue a CCL, which is much stricter than states using the term "may" issue (McEvoy, 2013). 

     Warp speed ahead to today, legislation was forced to clarify the original CCL Act as it tackled some of the more ambiguous language on privacy, mental illness, prohibited areas, and law enforcement dealings (Associated Press, 2015). Applicant's right to privacy are relinquished in the areas of criminal and psychiatric history as applicable to their qualifications of obtaining a CCL, but all other privacy rights remain intact (Craver, 2015).  

     Mental health reporting is an essential component of the original Act mandating that those with severe mental health problems are reported to the proper state agencies within 24-hours of diagnosis and/or treatment (McEvoy, 2013). The Act specifically addressed mandated reporters such as "physicians, clinical psychologists, and qualified examiners," requiring  them to report when "someone possess a clear and present danger, is developmentally disabled, or may be otherwise disqualified from possessing a FOID card," (McEvoy, 2013). Clarity on this provision focuses on those with "mild" developmental disability allowing the applicant to appeal if denied (Associated Press, 2015).

     Further review provides clarity on how law enforcement officers and CCL holders interact, especially when engaging a first-responder. The CCL holder is obligated to notify any officer conducting an investigation of their allowing an opportunity for the officer to stop their investigation and the CCL holder to provide their permit (Craver, 2015). Additionally. it is the responsibility of the holder to secure their weapon when an officer directs (McEvoy, 2015).

     For more information please check out Senate Bill 836

Reference:

Associated Press (2015). New legislation clarifies Illinois' concealed-carry law. Sun Times Network. Retrieved from http://chicago.suntimes.com/news-chicago/7/71/791731/new-legislation-clarifies-illinois-concealed-carry-law.

Craver, K. P. (2015). New rules clarify, clean up Illinois concealed-carry law for handguns. Northwest Herald. Retrieved from http://www.nwherald.com/2015/07/16/new-rules-clarify-clean-up-illinois-concealed-carry-law-for-handguns/ayg8l9w/.

McEvoy, C. G. (2013). Second Amendment. The new Illinois concealed carry law. Illinois Bar Journal. Retrieved from https://www.isba.org/ibj/2013/12/thenewillinoisconcealedcarrylaw.