Concealed Carry of Firearms in Illinois
Gun owners in Illinois are required to maintain a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card. This license enables individuals in the state to legally possess firearms and ammunition. Residents looking to carry their handguns concealed on their person must obtain additional documentation called a Concealed Carry Permit.
Concealed Carry Permit Qualifications
Anyone seeking a concealed carry permit in Illinois must complete the state’s required education program, be at least 21 years old, and have a valid FOID card. Your FOID card must remain valid throughout the period that you hold your concealed carry permit.
Some prior convictions may prevent residents from obtaining a concealed carry permit. For instance, if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor that included the threat of force within the last five years, you will not be granted a permit. Two or more convictions of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs within five years of applying for the permit will also prevent you from obtaining it.
Additionally, the law states that “[a]ny law enforcement agency may submit an objection to a license applicant based upon a reasonable suspicion that the applicant is a danger to himself or herself or others, or a threat to public safety”
What are you allowed to conceal carry?
Individuals with a permit are allowed to carry handguns. The law defines a handgun as “any device which is designed to expel a projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosion, expansion of gas, or escape of gas that is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand.” This definition does not include stun guns/tasers, machine guns, rifles, or shotguns.
Where are you not allowed to conceal carry?
The law has a large section (430 ILCS 66/65) of areas where individuals are not allowed to conceal carry. These include buildings/land under the control of schools, child care facilities, parks, or the government, including courthouses and prisons. You may also not carry a concealed handgun on any form of public transportation. Other prohibited areas include hospitals, sports arenas, concert venues, airports, zoos, etc. Or if the owner of private property prohibits concealed weapons on their property, individuals must respect those wishes.
Penalties for Violating the Concealed Carry Law
The most severe penalties are surrounding individuals carrying a concealed handgun while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The determination of ‘under the influence’ follows the same standards as those found in the Illinois Vehicle Code.
First time violators of this rule will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. A second offense will be a Class A misdemeanor as well, with the addition of having your license suspended for six months. A third violation is considered a Class 4 felony and your permit will be permanently revoked.
If you or a loved one are charged with violating the Concealed Carry Law or have been arrested for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, you should speak with an experienced criminal attorney who can review the details of your case and craft a strong defense. Contact Richard at Fenbert & Associates, LLC for a free consultation.