Illinois’ Firearms Concealed Carry Act – The Basics

By Steve Haney posted in In the News on Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Illinois legislature has now enacted the Firearms Concealed Carry Act. Illinois has now joined the rest of the United States in allowing the concealed carry of a handgun.

An Illinois concealed carry permit allows a person to have a loaded or unloaded handgun to be carried:

  1. on the person either completely, or mostly, concealed from public view, or
  2. on or about the person within a vehicle and concealed from public view.

A handgun is defined as any firearm designed to be held and fired from a single hand.  It excludes any rifle, shotgun, machine gun, stun gun/taser, or paint ball gun.

concealed carryThe law requires the Illinois State Police to issue a concealed carry license to an applicant within 90 days of an applications’s submission with attending proof of successful completion of a certified training/education course, and payment of the appropriate fees.  The license shall be valid for 5 years, and subject to renewal for a like period of 5 years.

Those ineligible for a permit include anyone;

  1. under the age of 21,
  2. who does not possess a valid F.O.I.D. card,
  3. who has a court disposition of a violent misdemeanor within 5 years of application,
  4. has a court disposition for domestic battery,
  5. has any felony conviction,
  6. has 2 or more dui violations within 5 years of application,
  7. has any court cases pending that could lead to disqualification,
  8. is prohibited by court order from possessing a firearm,
  9. has been in residential or court ordered treatment for alcoholism or drug use within 5 years of application,
  10. has a conviction for possession of cannabis within 1 year of application,
  11. against whom reasonable suspicion exists that they are a threat to public safety, or
  12. has 5 or more arrests, or 3 or more gang-related arrests, within 7 years of application.

Places and locations at which concealed carry shall be prohibited include:

  1. schools, including pre-schools, day-care centers, colleges, and universities,
  2. government buildings, court facilities, and detention centers,
  3. public transportation facilities and vehicles if publicly funded,
  4. public controlled parks and athletics facilities,
  5. public playgrounds,
  6. licensed gambling facilities,
  7. any public event requiring a local government permit (i.e. town festival),
  8. any public library, zoo, museum, amusement park, or airport,
  9. any nuclear facility,
  10. any pro or college sporting event,
  11. any hospital, nursing home, or mental health facility,
  12. any establishment deriving 50% or more of its gross profits from the sale of alcohol,
  13. any location if the permit holder is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and
  14. any other location at which the private property owner shall prohibit concealed carry and post proper notice of such.

All such exclusions include the entire property and land, inlcuding parking lots. However, parking lots are exempted if the handgun is concealed on the person while in the vehicle, or placed in a locked container, such as a glove compartment, and out of public view. (Nuclear facilities are not included within this exemption).

Any prohibited location is required to post a sign in a conspicuous area advising the public that firearms are prohibited.

Violations of the concealed carry act are punished as follows:

  • first offense – class B misdemeanor (a criminal offense carrying a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail),
  • second offense – class A misdemeanor ( a criminal offense carrying a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail), and a 6 month suspension of permit,
  • third offense – class A misdemeanor, and permanent revocation of permit.

If a person is properly licensed to conceal carry, any violation of the concealed carry act will not subject that person to prosecution for violation of Illinois’ unlawful use of weapon statute.

Despite the exhaustive nature of the legislation enacting concealed carry, there is no language identifying how ammunition, itself, is allowed to be possessed under the law.  As such, ammunition should be treated with the same restrictions applicable to any firearm.

The act also allows non-residents of Illinois to obtain a non-resident’s concealed carry permit upon following the appropriate application procedures.  It also exempts those holding proper concealed carry permits from other states to carry a concealed handgun on the person, in a vehicle, while that person is driving through Illinois.

The law does not discuss appropriate scenarios for reveal and discharge.  As such, reveal and discharge will fall under the provisions of the proper use and show of force for any and all situations related to defense of property or person, as, otherwise, defined under Illinois’ self-defense law.