The second amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants citizens the right to keep and bear arms, but that doesn’t mean you can carry a firearm anywhere you please in Illinois. There are permits and regulations that must be followed if you plan on carrying a concealed weapon, and the penalties for violating these laws can be severe. Below, we take a closer look at the laws and the penalties regarding concealed carry violations.
Conceal Carry In Illinois
Before a person can apply for their concealed carry license, they must first obtain what’s known as a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID). The FOID is what allows you to purchase and possess a firearm in Illinois, and you do not need a concealed carry license in order to transport firearms as long as they are unloaded and in an enclosed case, like what many hunters do each fall. We have a more thorough explanation of FOIDs and how to obtain them in this blog.
Concealed carry licenses are a little different. These allow you to legally carry a concealed handgun in public. In order to acquire a CCL in Illinois, you must be at least 21 years of age, pass a 16-hour training course and not have previous criminal convictions on your record that would render you ineligible for a license. Law enforcement also has the right to deny an application for a concealed carry license if they feel that the applicant is a threat to themselves or others.
Here’s a look at the three most common types of CCL violations, and what type of penalties you’d face for each:
- Concealing a firearm without a valid CCL – This would be classified as an Unlawful Use of a Weapon violation, which is considered a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. It is punishable by no more than a year in jail, up to two years of probation and a fine of at least $75 but not more than $2,500. Subsequent violations are considered a Class 3 felony, which carry stiffer fines and the potential for more jail time.
- Carrying a firearm without your CCL on your persons – A first or second violation of this can result in a six-month suspension of your concealed carry license, along with a potential fine and jail sentence depending on the circumstances of the incident.
- Carrying a firearm in a restricted location – Churches, schools, parks, courthouses, and some businesses do not allow patrons to conceal carry on their property, even if they have a valid FOID and CCL. If a person is caught carrying their firearm in a restricted location, a first offense is a Class B misdemeanor, which carries the potential penalties of up to six months in jail and fines up to $1,500. A subsequent violation is handled as a Class A misdemeanor. Your CCL can also be suspended for six months for a second violation and permanently for three or more infractions.
If you have been charged with illegally possessing a weapon because of an issue with your FOID or CCL, make sure you reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney. We can help fight the charges or help ensure you don’t lose your right to possess your firearm. For more information about how we’ll achieve this, or to set up a free consultation to learn more about your options, reach out to Brett and the team at Appelman & Lloyd today.