What Illinois' Concealed Carry Law Means For You - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

What Illinois' Concealed Carry Law Means For You

Updated: July 9, 2013 06:14 PM
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Tuesday Illinois became the final state in the nation to legalize concealed carry, although it'll take some time before gun owners can officially start carrying concealed weapons. 

Under this new law, all gun owners looking to carry must get a concealed carry license through Illinois State Police.

The application will be available on their website within the next six months.

People looking to get the license must already have a firearm owner identification card, or FOID card.

You must be at least 21 years old and never been convicted of a misdemeanor or drug violation, or undergone treatment for alcohol or drug addiction, in the last five years. You must also not have any pending arrest warrants or other offenses.

You must also complete 16 hours of firearms training, both in the classroom and at the gun range.

If you have a license to carry in Iowa, or any other state, it doesn't apply in Illinois.

You'll have to apply for one through Illinois, they offer them to residents and non-residents for a fee, that license will last you five years.

Even though we've reached the deadline and have a concealed carry law in place, it will still be months before gun owners can legally carry a concealed firearm in Illinois, but local law enforcement say they're relieved a law is at least in place. 

"The important thing is to get something into place today," Rock Island County Sheriff Jeff Boyd says. 

Now with a concealed carry law in the books, it's up to local law enforcement to carry it out. 

"We take an oath to enforce the law so whatever the law is," Boyd says. 

The new law has provided a guideline for how to proceed into new territory. 

"I think having a bill signed into law is a great starting place," Boyd says. 

Under the new law, residents must apply for concealed carry licenses through Illinois State Police, and local law enforcement have a say in whether you get it or not. 

"Your sheriffs and your local law enforcement know the people in their county and the people in their jurisdiction," Mercer County Sheriff Thomas Thompson says. 

After an application is submitted, police and sheriffs have 30 days to contest it.  

"As long as we have some input into whether someone should have a permit or not, I think that's extremely important," Thompson says. 

Local sheriffs agree with requirements for licenses and training in the new law, but say parts of the law may need revisions in the future. 

"I believe in the training, I believe in the qualifications, I believe in the background checks," Boyd says, "At least they've embraced, something, at least they've tried to put something together." 

And having concealed carry in place doesn't mean it's a free for all. The law doesn't allow guns in places like schools and daycares, and all other laws of course remain in place.  

"If you've got it concealed, that's one thing, but if you've got it on your hip and someone is alarmed and disturbed, that's disorderly conduct so you can be arrested for that," Thompson says. 

"From a police standpoint, if we're going to err, we're going to err on the side of public safety," Boyd says, "I wouldn't suggest people strap on a gun and walk into the courthouse."

For more information on the new concealed carry law, along with a list of places where carrying a gun is still PROHIBITED, visit the guide posted on the Illinois Sheriffs' Association at: http://www.ilsheriff.org/images/stories/press/housebill183.pdf

For more information on how to get a concealed carry license in Illinois, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page with Illinois State Police: http://www.isp.state.il.us/firearms/ccw/ccw-faq.cfm

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