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Politically Speaking – September 19, 2023


There is so much going on that it’s a problem figuring out what’s more important than the other. However, for all Illinoisans I think it’s the no cash bail.

Starting September 18, thanks to Pritzker and his cronies, in my mind, the crime will get even worse. Judges can no longer require people accused of crimes to put up money to leave jail while they await trial. Instead, a judge will only be able to hold someone pretrial if they believe the person is likely to flee or pose a public safety risk. In my opinion, there will be a huge change in courtrooms, jails and policing. Below are five things expected to change:

1) The jail population is expected to shrink.

2) Smaller counties may struggle under new procedural burdens.

3) Policing will change through no fault of their own.

4) There will be legal actions over this crazy new law that Pritzker has developed because the actual bill is confusing.

5) Other states will be watching, especially Democratic states like New York California, etc.

My question is where do we go from here and what do we need to know about conceal carry and gun ownership, etc.? And for that, once again I turned to my go-to buddy, Jeff Bullard, the Sheriff of Jefferson County.

Frequent Firearms Questions

By Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Bullard

I have been a law enforcement firearms instructor since 2001 and have taught concealed carry licensing (CCL) classes since 2013. I have received many questions throughout those years from the public regarding what legal limitations there are when it comes to possessing, transporting, and using a firearm. In this publication, I will cover some of the most frequently asked questions. They are:

With a FOID (Firearms Owner Identification) card, how can I lawfully transport a firearm in a vehicle? The weapon must be unloaded and in a closed container that locks, or in a vehicle in which all the doors can be locked. The ammunition can be in the same container, with the unloaded firearm. Magazines can be loaded, but not inserted into the firearm. Example of legal containers are a gun case, shipping box, glove compartment, console, or even a shoe box with a lid.

With a FOID card, can I lawfully transport a firearm on my person, as a pedestrian? Yes. Again, the weapon must be unloaded and, in a closed container, like a purse, backpack, briefcase, duffle bag, fanny pack, etc. The ammunition, again, can be in the same container with the unloaded firearm.

With a FOID card, can I open carry on my own land or place of business? Yes, except on an ATV. Conservation law prohibits open carry of a firearm while riding one.

If I have a family member who lives in another state, and they have a public carry permit in their state of residence, is it valid in Illinois? No. Illinois does not recognize any other state’s license or permit to carry a loaded firearm. However, they can still get a temporary hunting permit and go hunting, during lawful Illinois seasons, with the loaded weapon they are using in the hunt.

If I decide to buy a firearm from another citizen in Illinois, are there any reporting requirements to the government? Yes. New laws require that the seller must go to the Illinois State Police (ISP) website, in the FOID section, complete the required input in the person to person transfer section to include the buyer’s FOID number, for the sale or transfer to be lawful.

Is the state combining the FOID card with the CCL? Yes. Many CCL holders are now getting an updated FOID card, with “CCL: Y” in the upper right corner. This means the FOID card holder also has a valid CCL. This is the only card you will need to carry. Every time you renew your CCL for five years, the state will automatically renew your FOID for ten years.

If I have an Illinois CCL, can I travel through other states with my firearm loaded? In some states, yes. Currently, 28 states honor the Illinois CCL, including all neighboring states. These states can be found in the interactive map on the USA Carry website, or similar websites that track this data. If you are unsure if you can in the state you are passing through, the safest legal practice would be to transport the firearm in a container like under the FOID act.

While carrying concealed with my CCL in a vehicle and I am stopped by the police, am I mandated to tell the officer I have a firearm in the vehicle? No. Only when the officer asks if there is a firearm in your vehicle, must you disclose you have a CCL, you have a firearm, and where it is at. While traveling through other states, it is best to know their laws regarding that subject. Websites like USA Carry, again, can assist with this.

Where is the best place to keep paperwork in my vehicle that an officer will need if they stop me? The best place for the insurance and registration paperwork is in a clip in the visor directly above you. If you could put your driver’s license there as well, that would be optimal. That keeps hand movement to a minimum during a stop, plus keeps the paperwork in an area away from your firearm, so you never have to reach near it.

Are laser sights or other forms of technical upgrades to sighting systems for a firearm useful? Yes. However, you should always train with the original sights that came with your weapon. If the advanced technology fails, you need to be used to using the original sights as a backup.

If someone is kicking in the front door to my house, can I shoot them through the door? Maybe. Study the Illinois use of force — defense of dwelling law. All use of force situations are determined on a case by case basis depending on the totality of the circumstances. If the attempt into your home (dwelling) is being conducted in a violent, riotous, or tumultuous manner, and you believe the offender(s) intend to harm you, or others, inside the home, then lethal force will be legal to defend yourself, and others.

Last question. I have been told to not get involved with my firearm in an event when an offender is using lethal force to harm others, because the police will arrive and think I am the bad guy, and I will be shot. Is this true? Possibly. However, the most solid recommendation I can make, based on my training and experience, is: Do whatever it takes to eliminate the imminent threat and then immediately prepare for the police response. Firearms are being used in a crime, so the police will be responding. However, who is protecting lives while you wait for them to arrive? It is a decision each person must make for themselves. Do you escape and call 911, do you hide and hope you are not detected, or do you step up and use the tools you have available to protect life? Whatever you decide, do it to the best of your ability and know, the police are coming, so be prepared for that as well.

You can learn much more about these topics if you take one of my concealed carry classes. You can find them in the events section of my Sheriff Jeff Bullard Facebook page. For renewal classes, you can go to the events section of my Brothers In Arms Training Facebook page.

Feel free to contact me at sheriffjeffbullard@gmail.com. Thank you and stay safe everyone.

The Shoppers Weekly

Picture of Cathy Stuehmeier

Cathy Stuehmeier

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