As of mid-2017, over 250,000 Illinois residents have obtained a Concealed Carry License (CCL) for firearms, out of roughly two million residents with Firearm Owner ID (FOID) cards.
Firearms owners who have or are thinking about getting a CCL should be especially aware of the following three aspects of the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act of 2013 ( which was amended in 2015):
1. The Definition of “Concealed Carry” on Your Person
By Illinois law, a CCL holder may (1) Carry a loaded or unloaded concealed firearm, completely or mostly concealed from view of the public, on or about his or her person, and (2) Keep or carry a concealed firearm on or about his or her person within a vehicle.
Many firearms owners have been concerned about the definition of “concealed.” For example, what if the gun is concealed under an unzipped jacket and the wind blows your jacket open? Has the gun owner just committed a crime? What if the rough shape of the gun or a “suspicious lump” is somewhat visible under close-fitting clothing (referred to as “printing”)?
As long as your intention is for the firearm to remain concealed, and any brief exposure is inadvertent, you are not guilty of a crime. A sharp-eyed bystander might still report you to a business security or police officer, who may then come and question you. But as long as you have your CCL in your possession, and you did not purposely reveal the firearm in an intimidating or threatening manner, you should not be in any trouble.
2. Concealed Carry Outside Illinois
26 other states recognize the Illinois CCL, including the neighboring states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, and Iowa. You can carry concealed weapons in those “reciprocity” states as long as you have your Illinois CCL with you. However, before traveling with firearms anywhere outside Illinois, be sure to double-check the current laws in those states and cities.
3. FOID vs. CCL in Your Possession
While Illinois residents must still retain a current FOID card in order to possess and purchase arms and ammunition, you do not have to keep both the FOID card and the CCL in your physical possession. Your CCL alone is sufficient, so you can leave the FOID at home.
Protect Your Rights with a Will County Firearms Attorney
Should you ever be charged with a firearms offense in Will County or Grundy County, you want a lawyer who is a FOID and CCL holder himself and who is committed to defending your Second Amendment rights. Contact a knowledgeable Joliet gun rights attorney as soon as possible. For a free and confidential consultation, call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025; calls are responded to 24 hours a day.