The Illinois State Police are charged with the tricky business of enforcing the Prairie State’s new concealed carry laws. For those of us living in more firearms-friendly climes who aspire to carry in Chicago (just cause) the big question is . . . can we? Not yet. Not until the Police sort out Illinois’ concealed carry reciprocity agreements with other states. Assuming they do so (e.g., Massachusetts and Rhode Island don’t recognize any other state’s concealed carry license). Remembering that there’s no chance that pistol packers from Constitutional Carry states (no permit required) will get the green light to conceal carry in The Land of Lincoln. But wait! What’s this? The po-po’s box-fresh FAQ page points out an interesting exception. “Are out-of-state Concealed Carry permit holders granted reciprocity in Illinois?” Glad you asked . . .
No. Out-of-state residents who want to carry a concealed firearm on his/her person must obtain an Illinois Concealed Carry License to lawfully carry a concealed firearm in Illinois. In order for out-of-state residents to be eligible for an Illinois license, their state’s concealed carry license laws must be substantially similar to those of Illinois. The Illinois State Police will establish rules to identify the elements necessary to meet the substantially similar requirement.
However, out of state residents are granted a limited exception to lawfully carry a concealed firearm within a vehicle if they are eligible to carry a firearm in public under the laws of his or her state or territory of residence and are not prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm under federal law. This rule becomes effective immediately.
If the non-resident leaves leaves his/her vehicle unattended, he or she shall store the firearm within a locked vehicle or locked container within the vehicle in accordance with subsection (b) of Section 65 of the Firearm Concealed Carry Act.
So out-of-state tourists with a concealed carry license from their home state can drive around Illinois with a gun on their hip. The moment they step outside the vehicle? Big trouble in little China. Imagine this . . .
A Texas tourist is pulled over by the cops. He’s carrying and has a CHL license. He tells the cop he’s packing. The cop asks him to step out of the vehicle. What then? “Sorry officer, I can’t do that.” Or “To stay within your state’s concealed carry law I have to now store my firerarm in a locked container. Give me a second, will ya?”
Constitutional Carry is so much easier. If it wasn’t for that blood in the streets Wild West thing . . . Oh wait . . .