Is It Illegal To Carry a Concealed Weapon in the State of Illinois?

concealed gun, Illinois weapons law, Illinois defense attorney, As of July 9, 2013, Illinois residents must obtain a Concealed Carry License to carry a concealed firearm in the state. The Illinois State Police Department issues permits for the same. Under both federal and Illinois law, individuals are eligible to apply for concealed firearms permits if they are over 21 years of age, do not have a felony or other disqualifying issue on their record (such as being confined to a mental institution within the last five years), and pass a 16-hour training course.

Non-residents from most other states do not have reciprocity in Illinois. Concealed carry permits issued only by Hawaii, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Virginia currently qualify. Retired police officers who qualify annually under state guidelines are also allowed to carry concealed weapons.

The open carrying of firearms is almost entirely illegal in the state except when hunting, in a fixed place of business with the owner’s permission or in one’s own home. Without a concealed gun license, firearms must also be stored both unloaded and sealed in a case when transported.

Concealed Carry Is Not Legal Everywhere

Carrying a concealed weapon is prohibited in a bar or restaurant where alcohol sales are more than 50 percent of total revenue, schools, hospitals, or parks. Cook County preserve area also prohibits concealed weapons on its grounds and on private property where the owner has prohibited it.

Furthermore, since Illinois allows local governments to set their own ordinances, some municipalities may have more restrictive ordinances than at the state level. Chicago, for example has banned the possession of some semi-automatic guns as well as magazines that can hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition.

Development of Concealed Weapons Laws In Illinois

Illinois was also the last state to allow the concealed carry of firearms by general citizens. The original handgun carry law in the state was enacted in 1949. In December 2012, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (see Moore v. Madigan) ruled that the existing law was unconstitutional and mandated that the state change the same within 180 days. Last year, in People v. Aguilar, the Illinois Supreme Court also ruled that the Illinois Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon Law (banning concealed weaponry outright) was also unconstitutional.

As of January 5 of this year, state police began accepting applications for concealed weapons permits for handguns and began issuing the same at the end of February. Possession of automatic firearms, short barreled shotguns and suppressors is still prohibited.

Owning a gun is a serious responsibility in Illinois and the penalties associated for the unauthorized possession are steep. If you need assistance in understanding the implications of Illinois’ new gun law as an individual or commercial entity, you should seek the counsel of an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney today to discuss the specifics of your case.

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