Illinoise Is the Final State to Enact Concealed Carry

On the ninth of July, 2013, Illinois, the last American state to disallow public carrying of firearms, became the final state to establish a concealed carry law, called the Firearms Concealed Carry Act. This came in response to a winter 2012 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit that ruled the Illinois law that prohibited concealed carry violated the Second Amendment. The legislature was given 180 days to devise a bill allowing citizens to carry firearms outside of their homes for self-defense.

In order to qualify for a concealed carry license in Illinois, an applicant must first have a valid FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) card and meet issue requirements for an FOID at the time of application for a CCL. Any circumstance that would bar eligibility for an FOID, even in the case of someone already possessing a valid FOID, is also grounds for barring eligibility for a CCL. In accordance with the Act, the Department of State Police must maintain a database of information on all licensees and applicants that is available to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, the Attorney general, state’s attorneys, and court officers with authorization. The Department must enter applicant information into this database within 10 days of receiving an application.

From that point, law enforcement agencies have 30 days to levee objections if they reasonably suspect applicants are a threat to themselves or others, or they present a danger to public safety. Any objections received by the Department must then be submitted, along with relevant information about the application involved, to the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board.

The Board has 30 days from reception of an objection to consider the application. If they decide the applicant presents a danger or threatens public safety, the Department of State Police must then inform the applicant of denial. If the Board finds the objection to be groundless, they inform the Department who then has the remainder of 90 days from the Board’s receipt of the objection to issue the applicant their CCL. Decisions by the Board are, however, subject to judicial review.