Illinois Concealed Carry Rates Tied to Declining Crime and Murder Rates

Schaumburg Concealed Carry Defense Lawyers

Concealed carry laws are a hotly contested issues throughout the United States. In our era of school shootings, changing attitudes about gun possession, and televised paranoia, any issue related to the possession and control of firearms can quickly polarize Americans.

Opinions aside, the facts make one thing clear: since Illinois began issuing concealed carry permits in January 2014, violent crime rates in Chicago have dropped dramatically. Burglary reports are down 20 percent, motor vehicle theft reports are down 26 percent, and the city's homicide rate is the lowest it's been since 1958.

Illinois was the last state to enact a concealed carry law with the passing of 430 ILCS 66, the Firearm Concealed Carry Act. So what, exactly, changed in Illinois in 2014 to have such a dramatic effect on the crime rates in the state? Many attribute the drop to potential criminals being dissuaded by the thought that any victim could be carrying a firearm.

Requirements for Obtaining a Concealed Carry License in Illinois

The requirements for Illinois residents to obtain an in-state concealed carry permit differ from those for residents of others states who wish to obtain an Illinois concealed carry license.

Illinois residents must meet the following requirements to move forward with their application for a concealed carry license:

  • The applicant must be at least 21 years old;
  • The applicant must have a valid Firearm Owner's Identification card (FOID);
  • The applicant must not have been convicted or found guilty of a misdemeanor involving violence or the threat of violence in the past five years;
  • The applicant must not be subject to a pending arrest warrant, prosecution, or a proceeding for an offense or action that could lead to a disqualification to own or possess a firearm;
  • The applicant must not have had two or more violations related to driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs in the past five years;
  • The applicant must not have been in a residential or a court-ordered alcoholism or drug treatment program in the past five years; and
  • There must be no other objections from law enforcement to the individual's application.

Residents of other states may also file for a concealed carry license in Illinois. The requirements for these individuals are more stringent and are listed as follows:

  • The applicant must be at least 21 years old;
  • The applicant must never have been convicted of any felony;
  • The applicant must not have been adjudicated as a mental defective by a court of law;
  • The applicant must never have been involuntarily committed to a facility for mental health treatment facility or voluntarily committed to one within the past five years;
  • The applicant cannot be developmentally or intellectually disabled;
  • The applicant may not have been addicted to narcotics;
  • The applicant may not be subject to any active order of protection;
  • The applicant may not have been convicted of battery, assault, aggravated assault, a violation of an order of protection, or any similar offense involving the use or possession of a firearm;
  • The applicant may not have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic battery or a similar offense;
  • The applicant may not have been in a residential or court-ordered alcohol or drug treatment program in the past five years;
  • The applicant may not be subject to a pending arrest warrant, prosecution, or proceeding for an offense or action that could lead to a disqualification to possess or own a firearm;
  • The applicant may have had no more than one driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol violation in the past five years; and
  • The applicant may not have been adjudicated a delinquent minor for an offense that would be considered a felony if it was committed by an adult.

Illinois does not recognize concealed carry permits issued by other states. All non-residents who wish to enter the state and possess a concealed firearm must apply and be approved for an Illinois concealed carry license.

Weapons Charges in Cook County and Illinois

In Illinois, any crime committed with a weapon or violation of weapon-related laws is considered to be an unlawful use of a weapon charge, or UUW. Having a UUW on your record can prevent you from obtaining a concealed carry license. This charge cannot be removed from your criminal record and will follow you for the rest of your life, potentially affecting your employment and other opportunities.

The actions that constitute an unlawful use of a weapon are described in 720 ILCS 5/24. It states that any individual who unlawfully carries a firearm or other deadly weapon or uses such a weapon as part of a criminal act is subject to a UUW charge.

Learn More About Illinois' Concealed Carry Law

Our team of Schaumburg concealed carry defense attorneys at Glasgow & Olsson know Illinois criminal law and can help you determine whether or not you are eligible for a Concealed Carry License, or assist you if you have been charged with a weapons crime. Contact our firm today at 847-577-8700 for your free legal consultation. During your consultation, you can learn more about whether a concealed carry license is right for you and your responsibilities as a license carrier if you do obtain one.