New Bill Reforms Concealed Carry Law

concealed carry lawA bill has been signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner, amending Illinois’ concealed carry laws. Though the new law does not drastically change the impact of the Act, it does address important issues like privacy, mental illness, and interactions with law enforcement officers, which have the potential to affect a significant number of Illinois residents.

The Bill

Senate Bill 836 amends certain provisions in the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, passed in 2013, which legalized the carrying of concealed firearms in Illinois. Importantly, the amendments involve changes regarding how developmental disabilities affect an individual’s ability to own a firearm, and on law enforcement officers’ authority in potentially threatening situations.

Mental Illness

The new law includes a provision creating an appeals process for individuals who are denied a Firearm Ownership Identity Card (FOID Card) due to minor developmental disabilities. In the event that a person is denied a FOID Card for this reason, he or she will have the opportunity to apply to the Director of State Police requesting relief. Such relief will only be granted if a licensed physician or qualified examiner finds that:

  • The individual’s developmental or intellectual disability is mild; and

  • The Director is satisfied that granting relief would not be contrary to the public interest and federal law.

If, on the other hand, a physician determines that the patient’s condition is moderate, severe, or profound, he or she will not be granted relief.

For the purposes of the Act, “developmental disability,” means a disability that:

  • Requires similar services to those required for those with intellectual disabilities;
  • Originated before the age of 18 and is expected to continue indefinitely;
  • Constitutes a substantial disability; and
  • Results in significant functional limitations in at least three of the following activities: self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, or self-direction.

Interactions with Law Enforcement

The new law also permits law enforcement officials and emergency personnel to secure a licensed carrier’s weapon during a contact if it is considered necessary to ensure the safety of those present. Once it has been determined that the carrier is not a threat to the safety of the officer or any other person, and that he or she is both physically and mentally capable of possessing the gun, the firearm must be returned.

In the event of investigative stops of licensed firearm carriers, the licensees must disclose their status. Verbal confirmation is no longer required, however, and presentation of the license constitutes valid proof. Furthermore, licensees must comply if an officer attempts to secure the firearm at any point during the stop.

If you have questions about the new law and how it will affect you, an experienced attorney can help you understand your legal rights. Please contact the dedicated Naperville criminal defense attorneys at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC to schedule an initial consultation.