Yesterday, the Illinois House and Senate passed a “trailer” bill which cleaned up some language and made some very minor changes to the new Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act which passed into law last summer. The bill goes to Governor Pat Quinn for final approval.
It spells out mostly good news for the good guys. There’s also some bad news of late for the bad guys (defined as people who are opposed to your civil rights).
The good news first:
Fingerprinting: The trailer bill now allows your local law enforcement agency – IF they choose to get registered – to do LiveScan fingerprinting of CCW applicants and charge whatever fees they want. They may elect to charge the state-required $31.50 alone or they may add some additional fees onto that for providing the service.
This is good news for those who may not have a LiveScan vendor near their residence, but who don’t want to do a “hard card” fingerprint card which will give the State Police 30 additional days (for a total of 120) to process the application.
Mental health issues: The trailer bill also took out “law enforcement official, or school administrator” as individuals who may report a gun owner as a danger to themselves or others and have the gun owner’s firearm rights suspended without due process or potentially later revoked. It added those who are “developmentally disabled” as a reason to deny a license. Again, minor, but relevant.
Duty to Inform: The bill clarifies the duty-to-inform and clearly expands it – so nobody can claim they didn’t know – that if an officer asks a passenger or non-resident if they are carrying, the licensee MUST notify affirmatively if they have the gun on or about their person. Failure to do so could result in a felony charge of Obstruction of Justice. This is no change to the existing bill, but a clarification for any confusion.
Edit to add: Seems this little amendment was added thanks to some people reading a poorly-moderated thread over at IllinoisCarry.com. Thanks guys and gals.
And for those who are dead-set opposed to any form of “duty to inform”, you’re going to have a hard time convincing a super-majority of the legislators that your point of view is the “sensible”, reasonable or prudent one.
Also: Remember that today, almost all police officers are mic’d up and recording traffic stops and this cuts both ways. There is very little leeway for officer misconduct but at the same time your demeanor is being recorded.
Corrections: Active duty corrections get a pass on all 16-hours of training now.
Previous law enforcement or corrections firearm training: These now count for the first eight hours of training under the IL law. They will need to get the final eight hours (four hours legal, four hours weapons handling and the qualification) to be eligible. They must have left their previous employment in good standing to receive this credit.
Appeals Board: As we read the trailer bill, language was inserted making it a part of the State Police (so the FBI would share certain confidential information with the board). Also, electronic fingerprints will almost certainly be required for cases heard by the board (again, to satisfy some FBI issues).
And the mixed news, including bad news for bad people (which is good news for all the rest of us):
In the regulations front, the Illinois State Police are doing a mixed job. They angered part-time Cook County Sheriff and full-time political hack Tom Dart by prohibiting the use of the law enforcement information database (LEADS system) to create objections to applicants. It’s going to have to be real reports from real instances from the reporting department (Tom Dart’s Cook County Sheriff’s Department, for instance), not a “google search” of law enforcement records from across the nation identifying (a) reason(s) to file an objection. Sorry Tom. Word has it he’s nearly apoplectic. Baby Jesus is giggling.
On the other hand, they have replied to proposed rule-making and are proposing to change the qualification scoring from “hit the target” to “hit the scoring rings” of the target for purposes of qualification. We’re opposed to that change because it’s not what the law, as passed, says.
Frankly, as an instructor myself running through over 400 people through the required training in November, the change would have rejected only a single shooter: A smart-alec who shot at the head of the B-27 silhouette and scored a 29 (he pulled a single shot as I recall). Under the new regulation, that would have been a failing score. Even my start-to-finish, eyes closed (with range officers watching nearby) qualification shoot would have still passed, easily.
We’re working on getting a copy of the ISP’s new proposals to post them here for your edification and comment. We will put them up when they arrive.
That’s what I’ve got for now.
Hat tip to Todd Vandermyde, the NRA-ILA’s man in Springfield, for clarifying some of these issues for me to share with all of you.
All the best.
And Happy Hannakuh as appropriate.