A man was fatally shot by a customer as he tried to rob a business in Gage Park this past weekend. The man who was shot entered a currency exchange store, withdrew a gun, and demanded money. A customer then withdrew his own firearm and shot the alleged robber multiple times, and the man died. The alleged perpetrator had a long history of criminal charges for robbery, and the person who shot him did have a concealed carry permit and an FOID card. Because the man who shot was legally carrying a firearm, the Chicago police have indicated he will not likely be charged with a crime. Obviously, understanding what you need to do to legally carry a concealed weapon in Illinois can make the difference in a real life situation as to whether you will later face criminal charges, so it is critical to know the law.
Firearm Concealed Carry Act
On July 9, 2013, Illinois adopted the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, which allows those with a valid license to carry a concealed weapon in public. This law was passed in large part in response to the high crime rate in Chicago and the surrounding area, as people began demanding the right to protect themselves in public. The crime rate is indeed lower since the Firearm Concealed Carry Act was passed. Illinois is a “shall issue” state, which means that the Department of State Police are required to issue a concealed handgun license as long as the applicant:
- Is at least 21 years old;
- Has a current and valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card ; and
- Has not been convicted or found guilty in Illinois or any other state of a misdemeanor involving the use of force or the threat of physical force or violence to any person within the previous five years; or
- Does not have two or more violations of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, intoxicating compounds, or any combination thereof within the previous five years.
An applicant must also not be the subject of a pending arrest warrant, prosecution, or proceeding for an offense or action that could lead to disqualification to own or possess a firearm; nor can the applicant have been in residential or court-ordered alcohol treatment, alcohol detox, or drug treatment in the past five years. All applicants must also have completed the required firearms training. This is not an exhaustive list, as there are several more guidelines which also must be complied with.
The Firearms Concealed Carry Act requires that all applicants for new licenses that carry concealed firearms must provide proof that at least 16 hours of training in a firearms course or combination of courses has been completed. The courses, which require state approval, must cover basic firearm safety, care, cleaning, loading, and unloading of a firearm that can be concealed, basic marksmanship principles, and all applicable state and federal laws related to owning, storing, carrying, and transporting a firearm, including being instructed on how to appropriately interact with law enforcement when carrying a concealed weapon. All applicants must pass live fire exercises, as well.
Administrative Requirements for Concealed Carry
There are many duties required before a permit for concealed carry will issue, and for some it may be daunting to figure out the process. If you are facing a gun charge for carrying a weapon in contravention of the Concealed Carry Act, we are here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready to help you. If you are facing charges stemming from violation of the Concealed Carry Act, it is important to seek experienced legal representation from a Cook County criminal defense attorney. Contact us today at 312-560-7100 or email us, for a complimentary session to find out how we can fight for you.