Updated at 11:50 a.m., Friday, June 7 & 3:14 p.m.
The Illinois State Police on Friday issued a response to Gibbons' letter. The state police, along with the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois Sheriff's Association, say they will continue to enforce state law which prohibits the carrying of "an immediately accessible firearm on your person or in your vehicle regardless of whether it is concealed." Violating the law can result in an arrest.
Our original story:
One prosecuting attorney in the Metro East isn't waiting for Gov. Pat Quinn to act on legislation that would allow the carrying of concealed weapons in Illinois.
Madison County state's attorney Thomas Gibbons sent a letter to law enforcement officials in the county today, outlining guidelines under which gun owners could lawfully conceal their weapons. That privilege would start immediately.
Here are those guidelines:
- Must posses a valid Firearm Owner Identification card, or a valid concealed-carry permit from another state if not an Illinois resident. A background check must be a condition of getting that permit.
- The firearm must be carried for self-defense.
- The person cannot be barred from possessing a firearm by other laws or court orders.
- The firearm must be kept concealed on a person or in a vehicle.
- The person must not be engaged in criminal conduct
- The person must be in compliance with all other laws of the jurisdiction.
- If asked by a law enforcement officer in the course of their duties, the person must inform the officer about the firearm.
"It serves no just purpose to continue to deny responsible, law-abiding citizens their Constitutional right to bear arms," Gibbons said in a statement. "Continuing to criminally charge citizens for conduct that is constitutionally protected and for which charges would, ultimately, be dismissed, would be unconscionable and a terrible waste of judicial resources. Therefore, we will no longer deny responsible citizens this important right."
A spokeswoman for Gibbons says the guidelines are based on the prosecutor's interpretation of the federal court ruling that struck down Illinois' ban on concealed-carry, and would be trumped by any state law. Illinois originally had until June 9 to develop a concealed-carry ordinance, but the court on Tuesday extended that deadline until July 9.
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