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The uptick in gun crimes does not affect concealed carry laws

Minneapolis media reports that a customer in a Target store caused quite a stir when his concealed weapon fell to the floor and discharged. He had been carrying the gun in his waistband when it started to slip. He grabbed for it and it went off. Fortunately, no one was injured. The bullet hit the floor and ricocheted to the ceiling. He picked up the gun and left the store with his companion.

The spate of gun violence in Chicago and around the country may have more citizens thinking about carrying a handgun. Illinois does allow individuals with a Firearm Owner's Identification Card to carry a concealed handgun, but only if they have a concealed carry license. Please note that a licensed individual may only carry a handgun, not a Taser, shotgun or any other type of gun.

The application process shares some steps with the FOID application process, but rest assured that a gun owner must successfully complete both applications if he or she wants to carry a concealed weapon in public.

The Illinois State Police administers the licensing program. The successful applicant

  • Is at least 21 years old
  • Has a valid FOID card (Illinois residents only)
  • Is not barred by federal law from possessing or receiving a firearm
  • Has not been convicted or found guilty during the last 5 years -- in Illinois or any other state -- of a misdemeanor involving the use or threat of violence or physical force against any person
  • Has not been convicted or found guilty during the last 5 years of two or more violations of any state's driving while impaired laws
  • Is not the subject of any pending prosecution, proceeding or arrest warrant for any of the above offenses
  • Has not been in residential or court-ordered substance abuse treatment or detoxification during the last 5 years

In addition, each application must submit fingerprints and a recent photograph. Finally, the applicant must successfully complete 16 hours of firearms training, including both classroom and range instruction.

One of the most important things to understand about the concealed carry law is that there are places that do not allow guns. Some businesses must post signage to that effect, but other locations are off limits by state and federal law. For example, schools and child care facilities, government buildings, courthouses, prisons and jails, hospitals -- the list goes on. This is one of the topics covered in the training.

Source: Minneapolis CBS/Local, "Police: Man Sought After Gun Discharges In Fridley Target Store," Dec. 13, 2015

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Darryl A. Goldberg
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