Oct 6

In the aftermath of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Illinois gun laws are back in the news, according to an article by the Chicago Tribune.

During a discussion on gun control, a White House official questioned whether strict laws actually prevent gun crimes. The official pointed out that strict gun laws across Illinois have done little to prevent gun crimes from affecting 4,000 victims last year in Chicago.

While that is a fair point, proponents of strict gun control argue that there is a larger picture to consider. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, approximately 60% of illegal guns recovered by police in Chicago come from Indiana, Wisconsin, or Mississippi – states with lax gun control.

Given all of the recent noise concerning Illinois gun laws, it feels like a great time to engage in a history lesson of sorts. We will review Illinois gun laws, past and present, below.

What is the History of Illinois Gun Control?

Back in 1982, the city of Chicago rolled out a comprehensive ban on handguns. The ban made it illegal to have a handgun in your home or carry a handgun in public. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the ban as unconstitutional in 2010. Then, in 2012, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the statewide law banning the concealed carry of firearms. One year later, Illinois passed new regulations that allowed citizens to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon in public.

What is the Current State of Illinois Gun Control?

Illinois gun control laws remain fairly strict by national standards. Illinois residents can have firearms in their home with a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card, issued by the Illinois State Police. Illinois residents can have firearms on their person in public with a valid FOID card and a valid Concealed Carry license, both issued by the Illinois State Police.

There is a vigorous process for obtaining a concealed carry license from the Illinois State Police. Applicants must complete a 16-hour course on gun operation and safety as well as pass a live firing test on the gun range. In addition to a $150 fee, applicants are subject to a background check.

Additionally, there are certain places where concealed carry licenses do not apply. Even with a valid license, Illinois does not allow firearms in public parks or transportation, schools or government facilities. Private establishments are also off limits, but only if there is a clearly visible “no gun” sign on display.

Do You Need Legal Advice?

No matter what the criminal offense, all criminal charges are serious. Without a sound strategy and an aggressive defense, you could miss out on your best chance for a positive outcome. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the law and navigate toward an effective resolution.

Serving the counties of Dewitt, Ford, Livingston, Logan, McLean, Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford, The Prior Law Firm is located in Bloomington, Illinois. Our attorneys are dedicated to the practice of Illinois criminal law. If you need legal advice concerning any criminal offense, please do not hesitate to contact us immediately.

You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at johnprior@thepriorlawfirm.com or online by completing a simple form.

(image courtesy of Andrew Yardley)