On July 9, 2013, the Illinois Assembly, in the spirit of the great emancipator and favorite son Abraham Lincoln, produced another form of liberation, with HB0183 enrolled as the “Firearm Concealed Carry Act.” This is a shall-issue concealed carry license for whomever meets training requirements (16 hours for new licensee, 3 hours for renewal), correctly fills out their application, submits proper fees, and “does not pose a danger to himself, herself, or others, or a threat to public safety…”
Beginning within six months of the effective date, this process must be made available to the public. The state must issue or deny a license within 90 days of receiving the application. Those rejected can file an appeal. Arrest records and gang-related activity are grounds for denial. This is all standard procedure for a shall-issue concealed carry law.
To qualify for a license, applicants:
- Must be at least 21 years old.
- Possess a Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID). [Illinois residents must register in order to legally own a handgun.)
- Aren’t convicted of certain crimes within the last five years.
- Aren’t the subject of a pending arrest warrant.
- Haven’t been in residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism or drug dependency.
- Must complete required firearms training.
Illinois applicants must pay $150 for a new or renewal license. Non-residents pay $300.
There are a number of carry-restricted zones:
- Property “under the control” of public or private elementary or secondary schools.
- Property “under the control” of pre-school or child care facilities.
- Buildings “under the control of an officer of the executive or legislative branch of government.” Exceptions exist for certain property “regulated by the Department of Natural Resources or any other designated public hunting area or building where firearm possession is permitted…”
- Property designated for courts.
- Property “under the control” of local government.
- Detention or correction facilities.
- Property “under the control” of hospitals, mental health facilities, and nursing homes.
- Buses, trains and other public transports “paid for in whole or in part with public funds.”
- Any establishment that derives more than 50% of their gross income from liquor sales.
- Public gatherings requiring a permit from local government.
- Liquor stores.
- Public playgrounds.
- Public parks or athletic facilities and grounds “under the control of a municipality or park district.”
- Property “under the control of the Cook County Forest Preserve District.” (Special dispensation to Chicago area to get this bill passed.)
- Property “under the control” of colleges and universities.
- Licensed gaming facilities.
- Property “under the control” of airports, public libraries, amusement parks, zoos, or museums.
- Any property having anything to do with nuclear energy.
- Wherever firearms are prohibited by federal law.
Approved firearms training courses must cover:
- Firearm safety.
- Basic principles of marksmanship.
- Caring for and making a handgun safe.
- “All applicable state and federal laws relating to the ownership, storage, carry, and transportation of a firearm…”
- How to interact with law enforcement while carrying.
Applicants must pass a 30-round live-fire test with a score of 70% or better. Applicants must attend a total of 16 hours of training, though the instructor can recognize up to 8 hours of prior training, if appropriate. Law enforcement and certified instructors are exempt from this training requirement.
Welcome, Illinois: Let the civil right of self-defense begin!