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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

The New Illinois Concealed Carry Gun Laws

Illinois gun law, Illinois concealed carry, gun laws, Illinois criminal defense lawyerIn July 2013, the Illinois state legislature passed the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, which came into effect in early 2014. This law created a system by which the Illinois State Police may issue concealed carry gun permits to individuals who are at least 21 years old; have a valid FOID card; have not been convicted or found guilty in Illinois or any other state of:(A) a misdemeanor involving the use or threat of physical force or violence to any person within the 5 years preceding the date of the license application; or(B) 2 or more violations related to driving while under the influence within the 5 years preceding the date of the license application; who do not have an outstanding arrest warrant or pending a criminal case; and who have not been in residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism, alcohol detoxification, or drug treatment within the 5 years immediately preceding the license application.    Those wishing to obtain permits must attend 16 hours of class to train and be prepared for the responsibility of carrying a concealed weapon.

Prior to the enactment of this law, if you were found with a concealed weapon on your person or in your glove compartment of your car, you could be charged with Unlawful Use of a Weapon, even though you were not actually using the weapon.

As of January 5, 2014, the state police began accepting concealed carry permit applications, and on February 28, 2014, the police started to issue these permits. The conceal carry license specifically allows you to carry a loaded or unloaded firearm, fully concealed or partially concealed, on or about your person; and to keep a loaded or unloaded concealed firearm on or about your person within your vehicle.

Where Can I Carry a Concealed Weapon?

The new law effectively expands gun rights, but the application of the law is nevertheless confusing, as the concealed carry of a weapon is still not necessarily permitted in every public setting. For example, guns are expressly prohibited in government buildings (as is the case for any federal buildings under federal law), public hospitals, courtrooms, public parks, and schools. Additionally, guns, even if concealed, are prohibited at large public events for those attending, such as at festivals or parades. This latter example is somewhat confusing because under the law, people are allowed to pass through such large public gatherings with a concealed weapon, but may not stop to attend them. Similarly, concealed carry of weapons is also allowed for those passing through public parks, or on the Prairie Path, again so long as they do not stay in the park. The interpretation for this particular portion can be tricky and will undoubtedly lead to interesting legal battles in misdemeanor and felony courtrooms.

What Are the Penalties?

Violating the concealed carry law by not properly concealing the weapon will result in a Class B misdemeanor for the first offense. This can land a gun owner in jail for up to 6 months, along with a hefty fine of $2,500. Getting caught improperly carrying a concealed weapon a second time is a Class A misdemeanor, with the more severe penalty of up to a full year behind bars, and another $2,500 fine. A second violation will also result in a six-month suspension of the person’s license to carry a concealed weapon. While the first and second times face severe enough penalties, a third time will result in another year in jail, another $2,500 fine, and a permanent revocation of the license.

The issue of where you may lawfully carry a concealed weapon is downright confusing, and the aforementioned examples are only a small sampling of the types of areas where concealed carry is permitted or not permitted. If you are facing gun charges for not properly concealing your weapon or for any other type of unlawful use, you need to know your rights and options in this hazy area of the law, and you need a strong defense. Contact Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. at 630-472-9700. We will work for you, investigating all circumstances surrounding your arrest. We have successfully defended individuals in Cook County, DuPage County, Will County, Lake County and Kane County.

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