Not too long ago, we took the opportunity in an article to make some observations about the shift regarding the law on concealing and carrying handguns. As we shared in that item, Illinois law didn't allow the carrying of concealed weapons. But just over a year ago, that changed.
As the Illinois State Police website notes, it became legal to carry concealed weapons as of July 9, 2013. It became the last state in the union to pass such legislation. And now that we're a year into the new model, it appears that folks are still finding it a little difficult to get used to.
This was brought home once again at the end of last month, as WSIL-TV reported. According to the story, some worried drivers dialed the Illinois State Police to report that they had spotted a motorcyclist riding toward Marion. They said the butt of a gun was visible in his waistband and they were worried.
Authorities stopped the man and discovered that he was in compliance with state law. He had a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card and the appropriate state Concealed Carry permit.
If there was a problem in this situation, a firearm trainer told the station, it was that the motorcyclist apparently hadn't taken the necessary precautions to make sure that the weapon he was licensed to carry was properly covered up. In other words, his jacket might have blown open, revealing the gun.
In this instance, no one was arrested or charged. It was more of an inconvenience than anything. But it does confirm that police are prepared to act if they feel they have cause to do so. And as experienced criminal defense attorneys know, it's not uncommon for such stops to lead to more serious police action.
In the event that happens to you and an arrest results it's important to remember that you have the right to contact an attorney, and you should.