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Banks Fumble Over Illinois' Concealed Carry Law

On July 9, 2013, after a protracted battle, Illinois became the last state in the nation to allow citizens to carry firearms in public. Before the 2013 legislative session, legislators from both parties presented, but failed to pass a concealed carry law - making Illinois the only state that had a complete ban on concealed weapons.

It was the winter of 2013 when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit struck down the Illinois law the prohibited concealed carry, arguing that the law was unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. The court gave the legislature 180 days to come up with a bill that permitted individuals to carry firearms outside of their homes for the purpose of self-defense.

After negotiations over concealed carry were debated during the 2013 spring legislative session, a law was eventually enacted after the General Assembly passed a bill on the final day of the spring session.

The Firearm Concealed Carry Act went into effect on July 9, 2013, literally hours before the seventh circuit's deadline.

Now that citizens have the right to carry concealed weapons, Illinois banks are debating whether to allow customers to bring guns into their branches or not.

The Bloomington Pantagraph reported on Aug. 8, 2014, that over seven months after Illinois became the last state in the country to allow concealed weapons, the Illinois Bankers Association is receiving calls from banks wondering how they should handle concealed weapons.

"It's absolutely more sensitive, especially when you look at the incidents of bank robberies in Illinois," Linda Koch, the president and CEO of the association told The Pantagraph.

While the legislature did carve out a variety of sensitive places where concealed weapons are prohibited such as schools, hospitals, government buildings, parks, gyms, and nursing homes, the law does not prohibit people from bringing guns into banks.

According to Koch, the association has not taken a position on the issue, explaining that it is up to the banks to establish their own rules. Since the concealed carry law went into effect, some banks have posted signs prohibiting firearms, whereas others have not posted any such signs.

Obtaining a Concealed Carry License

In order for an individual to carry a concealed firearm in Illinois, he or she must obtain a concealed carry license (CCL) from the Department of State Police. Illinois is now a "shall issue" state, not a "may issue" state, meaning the Department must issue a CCL to an applicant who meets the requirements.

If you have a legal issue that has risen due to a concealed firearm, or if you have questions regarding the concealed carry law, we urge you to contact a DuPage County criminal defense lawyer from Martin & Kent, L.L.C. We would be glad to answer your questions in a free consultation.

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