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What does Illinois new concealed carry law mean for the state in 2014?

A pistol that would easily be concealed now in Illinois thanks to the new law.
A pistol that would easily be concealed now in Illinois thanks to the new law.
Photo by Handout/Getty Images

Illinois, one of the most liberal states in the Union, has long held its ground fighting off bids for concealed carry legislation for decades. Due to the 7th Circuit Courts ruling that Illinois’ ban on concealed carry was unconstitutional, the rag-tag group of lawmakers in Springfield threw something together that was finally able to pass a two-thirds majority vote in the State Legislature.

A Bit of background

The state of Illinois, interestingly enough the last state to pass legislation granting the right of its citizens to carry a concealed weapon, looks to implement the new law, officially named Public Act 098-0063, starting in 2014. The implementation of such legislation comes with obvious challenges that will undoubtedly be faced on a first-come-first-serve basis heading into the New Year. After the botched rollout of the government run healthcare.gov website, residents of Illinois have every right to be skeptical.

Gun control has been, and will continue to be, a hot topic in the land of Lincoln and beyond. The entire country has mourned more tragic gun-related violence in the past few years than it cares to remember. While gun activists will be quick to point out that swimming pools kill many times more people per year than guns do, the issue still has its vehement detractors.

What political factors play into the law?

Governor Pat Quinn (D – Illinois) is one of those detractors, stating that the NRA, ‘…[does] not understand public safety in the land of Lincoln, and we're going to fight hard for public safety.’ Other politicians, notably Rom Emmanuel (D – Mayor Of Chicago), are definitely not excited about the new legislation but have no option other than to accept it as law. A few gun-toting activists have attempted to speed up the flow of firearms into the hidden pockets of regular folks in Illinois only to be shot down by U.S. District Judge William Stiehl calling it ‘moot.’ It looks like January 2014 will be when the bulk of permits start to be processed.

What comes next in Illinois is anyone’s guess. Currently, as the law stands, a resident of Illinois will have to undergo an extensive background check as well as pay $150 for sixteen hours of training from a certified professional in order to receive their concealed carry permit. Once granted, the permit will be good for five years before needing to be renewed. The bill is complicated, as with all legislation, however more highlights from the bill can be found on the DailyCaller website here.

Logistics of applying for and receiving a permit

What the residents of Illinois will ultimately end up with are a slew of law suits on everything from training to improper use, unlawful concealment in a posted or public place, and just about anything else you can think of from our litigious society. If you are, however, one of the people who support concealed carry and would like to obtain a license, you first need to find a qualified instructor.

Most commonly, instructors are criminal justice professionals or retired police officers or military personal are jumping on board to become certified instructors. A list of local instructors can be found here. After that, it’s just a matter of paying the money, passing a test, passing the ‘live fire’ portion of the course, and purchasing your very first pocket pistol to hide away until that one-in-a-million chance you need to pull it out and protect yourself.

For most people, it’s simply a way to waste $150. For that one person in a million, it may be the best investment ever made.