Gun Laws for Illinois Residents
In my years as a traveling salesperson, I’ve met many other people who struggle every day with the laws surrounding guns in their state. That’s especially true of those who carry their weapons where they go. For example, I don’t feel so safe traveling alone as a woman in unfamiliar places, so I always keep my weapon on hand.
I was reminded how important that is just a few days ago, as I was traveling through Illinois. I was stopped, and eventually, I was let go. Not everyone, however, is so lucky. Weapon permit laws are serious, so if you’re an Illinois resident and own or have considered owning a gun, consider these gun laws before you head down to the local guns and ammo shop.
Concealed Carry Permits
I was about an hour past the Illinois state line when a trooper pulled out behind me and flipped his lights on. I slowed down, came to a spot in a safe place, and followed all the right protocols. When the officer came to my window, though, I made a point to tell the truth.
“Officer, I just want to let you know that I do have a concealed weapon in this vehicle, and I have my permit to do so.”
He asked to see it, of course, so I passed the permit through with my license and registration. It turned out that I just had a headlight out, so I went on with a warning and a promise to fix it in the morning.
However, it could have been serious if he had suspected or seen that I had a weapon in my car without my notifying him. Illinois requires a concealed carry license issued by the state of Illinois AND a gun-owner identification card (Illinois is the only state to require this) for gun-owners like me, so if I hadn’t had that with me, I could have been in big trouble.
A friend of mine, unfortunately, did have that trouble.
Gun Law Violations Are Serious
A friend of mine has lived in Illinois all her life, and she’s a careful woman. She borders on superstitious even, and she’s never been one to wave her gun around. Most times after renewing her license, she goes ahead and puts the next due date on her calendar. This time, though, she made a mistake.
She happened to be out for drinks with a few friends, and she forgot to leave her gun at home before she left. She wasn’t driving, and she wasn’t severely intoxicated—but it was enough that a local police officer decided that she was breaking the law.
If she didn’t have lawyers like the ones at Chicago Trusted Attorneys on her side, she could have been convicted of a Class A misdemeanor. That could have affected her future, but as it is, she’s now just focused on expunging the arrest.
Taking Concealed Carry Permits Seriously
Do I understand the reason for my concealed carry permit? Of course. I’ve proven that I’m responsible enough to carry my handgun, but not everyone is so careful. Sadly, though, it feels that the laws, at times, can be a little unfair at times.
For example, a misdemeanor may not be as serious as a felony, sure, but you could still go to jail for a misdemeanor. That’s a major issue for anyone, not just travelers like me. While I’m the careful type, too, I’m also aware of just how costly a mistake could be.
That’s why, if you’re a gun owner, it’s important to stay aware of your rights and the laws affecting you—in every state you go. Chances are good that, if you have a run-in with the police and you’re not prepared, it could go a whole lot worse than my busted headlight and warning. So, stay informed and stay up-to-date on your paperwork.