On July 9th, 2013, Illinois became the last state to enact a law that allows for the concealed carrying of firearms. Up until that point carrying a firearm in Illinois (except for in certain situations, like hunting) was prohibited. Many gun owners welcomed the new concealed carry law and quickly applied for a concealed carry license. What gun owner wouldn't want the license? It allows them to bring their firearm with them everywhere, right?
In fact, no. While the Illinois concealed carry law permits license holders to carry a concealed weapon in many places, it prohibits carrying a firearm in a lot of other locations. The following are examples of a few of the locations where the carrying of a firearm is prohibited, even with a concealed carry permit:
- on school grounds;
- at daycare facilities;
- at congressional buildings;
- at courthouses;
- at hospitals or nursing homes; and
- on public transportation.
The law also allows any owner of private property to prohibit concealed carrying on their property, so long as they post a sign stating as much.
So what does this mean for the Illinois concealed carry holder? It means that, while you may have met all the requirements to get the concealed carry license in Illinois, you can still get in a lot of legal trouble for bringing a firearm into the wrong place.
What kind of legal trouble can a concealed carry license holder get into?
Generally, the concealed carry law labels any violation of the Firearm Concealed Carry Act (430 ILCS 66/1) as a Class B Misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class A Misdemeanor for any subsequent offense. However, that isn't all. Carrying a concealed weapon while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can increase the charge to either a Class A Misdemeanor or Class 4 Felony. These punishments also have a $150 fine that must be paid for a violation. Lastly, the law requires a six month suspension of a person's concealed carry license for a second violation and for permanent revocation of the license after a third violation.
What does all of this mean? Basically, be aware of the areas where you plan to carry a concealed firearm and always keep an eye out for the 4" by 6" sign denoting that carrying a concealed weapon is prohibited (an example of the sign can be seen at the top of this post).
Weapons charges are complex. If you are charged with a violation of a firearm law, call the Criminal Defense Group right away at (773) 893-0252.