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Concealed Carry Law: What to Disclose during a Traffic Stop

Posted on in Concealed Carry Law

concealed carry, concealed carry law, Illinois Defense LawyerNearly two years ago, the Illinois became the last state in the country to enact a concealed carry law, which permits appropriately licensed residents to carry a concealed firearm within the state. Enacted in 2013 and taking effect in 2014, the legislation is known as Firearm Concealed Carry Act and supporters insist the law simply recognized rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. To members of law enforcement organizations, however, the Act created a whole new set of challenges, which include conducting traffic stops of legally armed Illinois citizens.

Even as the legislation was being drafted and reviewed, law enforcement officials looked ahead to potential dangers. They pointed out that any interaction with an individual legally carrying a concealed firearm would carry an increased risk of escalation simply to due the existence and proximity of the weapon. Kevin McClain, director of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, acknowledged at the time, however, that law-abiding citizens may just be exercising their Second Amendment right, and that police officers need to be “a little more savvy in approaching someone” so a mutual level of respect can be maintained.

One of the provisions that law enforcement officials were hoping to get included in the concealed carry law was a requirement for legally carrying individuals to announce their permit status during a traffic stop. To the disappointment of some, including Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, the provision was not enacted in the law. “It was something that we felt strongly about collectively that would help,” Dart said.

In its final form, the law does impart on licensees certain responsibilities during an investigative stop, including a traffic stop. A licensee must disclose to an officer that “he or she is in possession of a [legal] concealed firearm,” but only upon the officer’s request. During such a stop, the driver and any passengers are subject to the same requirements under the act, and are under no obligation to disclose the existence of a firearm prior to being asked.

Illegally possessing a firearm in the state of Illinois can carry serious penalties, particularly in conjunction with other criminal charges. However, violations of your rights related to the concealed carry law are extremely serious as well. If you believe your rights under the law have been violated or you have been charged with any type of weapons offense, a qualified lawyer can help you understand your options. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Oak Brook today for a consultation.

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