A Brief Overview of Concealed Carry Laws in Illinois

Posted on in Criminal Defense

concealed carry, limitations, Illinois criminal defense attorneyWhen they become apparent, rising crime levels are definitely cause for concern, and it can be helpful to have to defend yourself. For this reason, combined with the rights protected the Second Amendment, carrying a concealed firearm is legal in Illinois, but only with the necessary permit and in accordance with restrictions in the law.

In late 2013, Illinois became the last state to legalize the carrying of a concealed weapon, following a federal court ruling that found the existing ban on the practice to be unconstitutional. Concealed carry, however, requires an individual to obtain a permit from the Department of State Police, and gun owners must adhere to a long list of restrictions that determine where, or when, you can carry a concealed firearm.

Where Am I Not Allowed to Carry a Concealed Weapon?

The Firearm Concealed Carry Act, the law that allows concealed carry for appropriately-licensed Illinois residents, went effect in 2014. The Act grants a permit holder the right to carry a concealed firearm on his or her person, so long as he or she is in possession of the permit. However, the law also prohibits carrying a concealed weapon in many locations, including:

  • Government buildings, including courts;
  • Public libraries;
  • Public transportation, including terminals and airports;
  • Universities, schools, and childcare facilities;
  • Museums, zoos, and amusement parks;
  • Playgrounds, parks, and athletic facilities;
  • Correctional institutions;
  • Bars and establishments with a liquor license;
  • Nuclear facilities;
  • Within the Cook County Forest Preserve;
  • Casinos; and
  • At any public gathering that requires a government permit.

Carrying a concealed weapon is fairly restricted in Illinois, and there are relatively few locations where it is legal to do so. In many cases, though, a permit holder carrying a weapon in these locations is unaware that he or she is breaking the law. However, as part of the licensing process, it the individual's responsibility to learn, understand, and comply with all applicable concealed carry restrictions.

The law does allow gun owners with a concealed carry license to keep their weapons inside their cars, even if they are in a parking area of a location where carrying a concealed weapon is prohibited. Therefore, if you arrive at a prohibited location, such as a school or a museum, you can leave your weapon secured in your vehicle.

What Happens If I Break the Law?

If police catch you knowingly carrying a concealed weapon in one of these locations, you could face criminal charges, most likely a Class B misdemeanor. As a result, your license may be suspended, and you could be fined up to $150. Subsequent violations can be more serious, and may lead to the revocation of your permit.

When you are facing charges for the illegal possession of a concealed weapon, it is important to seek qualified legal counsel immediately. Contact an experienced Cook County criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney. We will review your case and help you protect your rights every step of the way.


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