Illinois Churches and Concealed Carry

I am proud to have been invited to speak at a local suburban church, where they are considering posting the “No Legal Guns” sign on their doors. Due to church politics, that invitation has been delayed/cancelled, however if my speech could be of assistance to anyone else, please read below…


Thank you for taking a minute to hear me out. I think we all want the same thing, especially the Peace and Justice Committee. We all want to be safe, however there is a difference between feeling safe and actually being safe. Placing the “No Legal Guns” sign actually could potentially have the opposite effect of creating a safe environment to worship.

As well as the opposite effect of safety, I want to point out the irony of the decision to consider posting of the “No Legal Guns” sign. This is ironic because we wouldn’t even have the ability to legally carry concealed firearms in Illinois if not for Mary Shepard. Mary was attacked at her place of work in September of 2009, which happened to be a church. The attacker was charged with attempted murder due to the beating that Mary and two of her co-workers endured, with Mary herself suffering skull and facial fractures from the attack and untold mental trauma as well.

While you may be thinking this is a fluke case or random act of violence, it is not. According to a study by the Crime Prevention Institute in 2016, 98% of mass shootings actually happen in supposed “gun free zones”. More specifically, churches and other places of worship are common targets for violence. There is a national database of Christian church shootings and upon examining this database, we see during the years of 1980 and 2005 there were 139 Church shootings in the United States. This created 185 needless deaths, including children. This data does not include any other attacks, such as arson, bombings or attacks on non-Christian places of worship, such as the Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin in 2012 or the attack on the Muslim mosque in Canada just a few weeks ago.

We also know that in December 2016, ISIS called for the attack of Christian churches in the United States. While people may think a gun free zone will keep them safe, it’s not likely ISIS or any other attacker intent on causing harm will obey the “No Legal Guns” sign or any sign for that matter.

While it’s not likely a criminal will obey the sign, who will? The law abiding gun owners who have gone about the legal process of getting trained, background checked, and carry their firearm in accordance with the law. The people who will obey the sign have no ill will and are members of your church.

Attackers will not disarm. The idea that an attacker will disarm is akin to the idea that a speeder will slow down based on the posted speed limit. The speed limit signs are spaced approximately 1,000-2,000 feet apart, yet are ignored by people who are intent on breaking the law: by speeding.

In other words, we are disarming the good guys but not the bad guys. How do we know they are the good guys? Well, a study in 2016 by the Crime Prevention Institute shows that those who are licensed to carry concealed firearms are actually THE most law abiding demographic in the entire United States, even more so than the police officers who are sworn to uphold the law.

In Illinois, to obtain a concealed carry license, the applicant has to achieve sixteen hours of training, which includes the safe operation of a firearm as well as having knowledge of gun laws. They must meet the following qualifications:

  • No warrants
  • Fewer than 2 DUIs
  • No violent convictions of any kind
  • No illegal drugs or narcotics
  • Not a danger to self or others
  • Zero felonies
  • Never been judged a mental defective
  • No mental health issues
  •  No history of domestic violence

This is a very high standard to meet! These are the people you will be keeping out of your church when you post the sign. So you know, these people are upstanding and honest citizens; the best of the best. What do you know about everyone else walking through those doors though?

There is also further data to support that people whom are legally carrying firearms have actually stopped attacks on churches. A law-abiding, legally-armed citizen stopped an attack on the New Life church in December of 2007, Freewill Baptist Church in March 2012, and the New Destiny Church in Aurora Colorado in 2012. This does not include the dozens of other mass shootings stopped by legally-armed civilians in non-church settings. Good guys with guns CAN stop bad guys with guns, and have proven to do so.

Remember, you’re not considering posting a “No Guns” sign, but a “No LEGAL Guns” sign. I hope that you will consider whom you will actually be keeping out of your building by posting these signs and hope that you actually consider whom you may actually be inviting.

Be good shepherds. Don’t invite the wolves into your flock.

Under current law, churches are not on the statutory gun free zone list, though in the past, bills have been submitted in the legislature to include places of worship. Those bills failed for the reasons mentioned above.

Any church with the “No Legal Guns” sign has posted voluntarily, or been forced through committee.

Transport your Firearm Legally in Illinois – Illinois State Police

Transporting your firearm legally in Illinois is sometimes a confusing topic, but it doesn’t have to be. There is much information that makes it easy to comply with the law to transport your firearm legally in Illinois. However the law does treat Illinois residents and non residents differently, so it is also important to know those differences. It is also important to know the legal differences between “Carry” and “Transportation” in Illinois. This article is not to be considered legal advice.

Transporting your Firearm Legally for Illinois Residents

Illinois residents must always have their Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) card or their Illinois Concealed Carry License (CCL) on their person at all times when in possession of firearms and ammunition.

With your FOID, for transport, the firearm must either be..

  • Broken down in a non functioning state, OR
  • Not immediately Accessible, OR
  • Unloaded and enclosed in a case.

The following pamphlet was printed before Illinois allowed carrying of concealed firearms, however does clearly explain how one may transport you firearm legally in Illinois: Transporting-Your-Firearm-Legally-Illinois-State-Police Brochure

For an Illinois resident to carry a firearm, they must have a valid Illinois Concealed Carry License on their person and the firearm must be a hand gun as defined by the Illinois law.


Transporting your Firearm Legally for Illinois Non-Residents

The process for an Illinois non-resident to transport their firearm legally in Illinois is similar to that of a resident, however there are also some differences.  The first difference is that the non-resident does not need a FOID card. Infact most non residents aren’t even aware of what a FOID card is. Essentially it is a card that says you have passed a background check, similar to the National Instant Check System (NICS) that anyone who has bought a gun has underwent.  The difference is Illinois residents need this card on their person at all times they are in possession of firearms or ammunition, non residents do not.

For purposes of transportation, the non-resident must adhere to the above described criteria of broken down in a non functioning state, OR not immediately Accessible, OR unloaded and enclosed in a case.

It is important to note that the case does not need to be a separate case for the firearm and the ammunition. It is also important to note that the case(s) need not be locked. There is some mis-information surrounding this topic and I believe that confusion arises when we discuss the federal Firearm Owner Protection Act (FOPA) which states for federal transportation purposes the firearms and ammunition must be in separate locked cases.  Illinois does not have this requirement.

The Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Licensing Act states:

(e) Nothing in this Act shall prohibit a non-resident from transporting a concealed firearm within his or her vehicle in Illinois, if the concealed firearm remains within his or her vehicle and the non-resident:
(1) is not prohibited from owning or possessing a
firearm under federal law;
(2) is eligible to carry a firearm in public under
the laws of his or her state or territory of residence, as evidenced by the possession of a concealed carry license or permit issued by his or her state of residence, if applicable; and
(3) is not in possession of a license under this Act.
If the non-resident leaves his or 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 this Act.


What about Carrying of a Concealed Firearm in Illinois?

As previously stated, in the eyes of the law transportation and carrying are two separate and distinctly different subjects.  Only hand guns may be carried in Illinois. And Illinois does not allow Open Carry, meaning the firearm is visible to the general public (except on ones own private land, or the land of another with their permission).  Illinois residents must have their concealed carry license on their person at all times when carrying concealed.

However the law is more loose for non-residents. While Illinois does not honor (read: reciprocation) the concealed carry licenses of any other states, and while Illinois only will issue non-resident licenses to 4 other states (See recent changes to non resident eligibility) actually non-residents are able to carry concealed firearms without an Illinois concealed carry license while in their vehicle if they are licensed to carry in their state of residence.


Some legal Definitions you need to know when transporting your firearm legally in Illinois.

According to various laws  it is important you understand how certain terms are defined legally in Illinois.

The Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Licensing (FCCL) Act defines concealed firearm as…

“Concealed firearm” means a loaded or unloaded handgun carried on or about a person completely or mostly concealed from view of the public or on or about a person within a vehicle.


The FCCL defines handgun as…

“Handgun” means any device which is designed to expel a projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosion, expansion of gas, or escape of gas that is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand.

The FCCL, however excludes the following items from the definition of handgun…

“Handgun” does not include:
(1) a stun gun or taser;
(2) a machine gun as defined in item (i) of paragraph

(7) of subsection (a) of Section 24-1 of the Criminal Code of 2012;
(3) a short-barreled rifle or shotgun as defined in
item (ii) of paragraph (7) of subsection (a) of Section 24-1 of the Criminal Code of 2012; or
(4) any pneumatic gun, spring gun, paint ball gun, or
B-B gun which expels a single globular projectile not exceeding .18 inch in diameter, or which has a maximum muzzle velocity of less than 700 feet per second, or which expels breakable paint balls containing washable marking colors.


The FCCL as well as previous case law, defines case as…

“case” includes a glove compartment or console that completely encloses the concealed firearm or ammunition, the trunk of the vehicle, or a firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container.


This article is not legal advice. Please consult your criminal defense attorney with any questions.

How to file an Illinois Witness Slip

Protecting your gun rights is your responsibility. When new gun bans and legislation are introduced it is your responsibility to voice your opposition. When pro gun bills and legislation are introduced it your your responsibility to voice your support.  Filing and Illinois Witness slip is very fast and simple to do, and I’ll explain step by step below.


Step 1 – Optional Create an Account

The first step in filing an Illinois witness slips is actually optional, but I recommend it. That is to create an account at the Illinois General Assembly Website. This is an official Illinois Government website, but not is not the main parent website where the test of bills are stored.  If you already have an account at the my.ilga website, proceed to step 2 below.

Visit . If you don’t already have an account, simply click on the link to “Register” which will redirect you to the registration page: where you would enter in your email address and password, and agree to the terms. You will then be sent a confirmation email.

Registration is recommended because when completing a witness slip, you will be asked information such as your name and who you represent.  Rather than completing this information each time you file a slip, registering an account makes it simple because it remembers the information for you.


Once you have created your account, or if you prefer not to create an account, you may then file a witness slip. But how do you know what slips require your attention?  You may visit the facebook page for GunRights4Illinois or visit the Illinois State Rifle Association at . Also a great resource is  Illinois Carry. Through the various aforementioned organizations you WILL be notified about any proposed legislation that needs your attention.

Often a link will be provided in these notices. Typically a bill number will be provided in these notices. If a direct link is provided that makes it simple for you to find. If you only have a bill number, you will visit the my.ILGA website and browse through the committee hearings to find the bill or Amendment you are searching to find.


Step 2 – Creating the slip

Assuming you find the direct link and click it, you would be directed to the link requiring your attention. If you have an account, click the log on button in the upper right hand corner. If you don’t have an account begin by manually typing in your information.  Information such as Name and Address is self explanatory.

Information such as Firm/Business Agency does not apply if you are representing yourself, and you would simply input “Self”.  It is frowned upon to enter information such as “NRA” if you do not represent the NRA in an official capacity.   For Title, you can simply put N/A, or Mr. or Mrs.

IN the box regarding representation is somewhat redundant to firm.  If you are officially representing an organization or agency you would input that information in the box, however if you have no official representation, you would then be representing yourself.

Step 3 – Position

You will be allowed to enter your position to the proposed bill or amendment. Either for (Proponent), against (Opponent) or neutral (No Position). It is also extremely important that you use the drop down to select “original bill” or a specific amendment. Often there will be a good bill, but an anti gun politician will try to attach an anti gun amendment. It is important to know what you are opposing or supporting!

Step 4 – Testimony

You are given the option to give oral testimony. You would only select this box if you intend to drive to Springfield and give testimony infront of committee. You would select written statement if you have officially filed a written statement on the proposed bill. However in nearly all cases you would simply select “Record of Appearance Only” which simply records your official position on the bill or amendment.

You would then click on “Create Slip” and you will be done.


Often people will ask how much these witness slips really matter. While the slips don’t matter nearly as much as they should, they allow We the People to be heard. Also before each committee meeting the committee chair will state how many are for and how many are against the specific bill or amendment. Often politicians have remarked how quickly the pro gun rights crowd in Illinois is to mobilize on specific issues. These witness slips do matter! We can not always block bad bills in committee, but sometimes we can.


Ania Cienkowski named Exec.VP and Spokesperson for 2AO

2AO is pleased to announce that Ania Cienkowski, an illinois resident, has accepted the role of Executive Vice President and Spokesperson for 2AO. Ania has over 10 years of experience in the Firearms Industry; she brings knowledge of OSHA and ATF Compliance to 2AO. She ran and operated the first 5-star NSSF awarded range and store in the Chicagoland community.

Ania is focused on developing women and youth shooting programs for Chicago Communities. She is supported heavily by the veteran and military community. Her father was a Red Beret in the Polish Military. She has coordinated numerous range days for multiple charities including the VFW, law enforcement departments, Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation, Breast Cancer Awareness, Wounded Warrior Program, local food pantries and homeless organizations.

2AO (2nd Amendment Organization) is a nonprofit organization that connects pro-2nd Amendment businesses. With a focus on large cities and minority communities, 2AO offers resources for business owners while welcoming and educating nontraditional shooters. 2AO’s large support base highlights its diverse community of responsible gun owners in America.

Ania and the 2AO team will be at SHOT SHOW 2017 in Las Vegas meeting with partners and other organizations supporting the Second Amendment. For more information or media appearance, please contact 2AO at 202.643.2261

Chicago 2016 Homicide Rate is Tallied, the Results Not Good

The homicide rate for the City of Chicago has been tallied. The results are in and as expected, it’s not good.

The city of Chicago continues to be a dangerous place. While the majority of homicides are condensed into certain neighborhoods, murder and crime has hit nearly every neighborhood in Chicago, including the affluent and wealthy ones. Some of the more affluent Chicago neighborhoods where the homicide rate is surprising include: The Loop, Near North Side and even Norwood Park, which adjoins the suburb of Park Ridge. Even with crime and murder striking these historically less crime-ridden parts of the city, the most deadly neighborhoods in Chicago in 2016 are Austin, Englewood and Garfield Park. These three neighborhoods account for nearly one third of the total homicides in Chicago.

The homicide rate in Chicago took a drastic rise in 2016, where it rose by 286 homicides since 2015 (509 homicides in 2015 and 460 in 2014). The total number of homicides in Chicago in 2016 are 795. As the homicide rate rises in Chicago, the Chicago Police superintendent and Cook County States Attorney both call for more gun control. Cook County, however, continues a revolving door policy within the correction system for violent repeat offenders. This means existing laws simply are not being enforced and repeat violent offenders are often released within one year, left to offend again. As well, an even more startling (and truthfully scary) statistic is that in 82% of Chicago homicides, NO ARRESTS ARE EVER MADE.

Not all homicides in Chicago are murders, though. In 2015, the homicide rate in Chicago was 509, with 468 of these homicides being considered murders.  The remaining forty-one homicides in Chicago were either justified acts of self-defense or police-involved shootings.

In 2016, the homicide rate in Chicago was 795, but the exact murder rate has not been released as of this writing. Approximately eleven homicides were considered acts of self-defense and approximately eleven more were police-involved, according to sources, however.

This upward trend in violence in the City of Chicago, the most populated city in Illinois and all the Midwest, coupled with homicides continuing to spread from higher crime-ridden neighborhoods to more affluent neighborhoods, is proof positive that you are never truly safe and only you are responsible for your safety and personal protection. Be armed. Be trained. Be Alpha.



Utility Workers Lives Matter? Maybe not…

Do the lives of Utility Workers matter? Sure they do! But maybe not to some of their employers.  Some employers, such as AT&T, have policies against the carrying of weapons while on duty. As one AT&T employee put it, “AT&T has a policy against fighting back.”  That policy was evident on Monday November 28th, 2016 when an AT&T employee was shot during an attempted robbery in Berwyn, Illinois.

According to a press release from the City of Berwyn…

The victim was working on electrical panels in the 6300-block of Park Avenue around 11 a.m. when a male approached and demanded his wallet. When the worker tossed his wallet and attempted to flee, the suspect shot him the back.


This incident is proof that the merciless show no mercy. Even though the victim complied, he was still shot. The victim was left, by his employer

Continue reading Utility Workers Lives Matter? Maybe not…

Negan, Alexandria and Gun Registration – A Lesson to be Learned.

I’d like to take a moment to write about something seemingly off the topic from gun rights, but actually has everything to do with gun rights. The Walking Dead. More specifically, the episode which aired on November 13th, 2016.


In this episode Negan visited Alexandria, the home of the protagonist group. For those who don’t follow the show, Negan is the current super villain with which the group must contend. While visiting their home, Negan asks for all their firearms for confiscation because he doesn’t want them to rebel against his authority.


All of the firearms were stored in a central location and cataloged. Negan threw a hissy fit when two of the firearms, which were on the list, were not in the inventory. And threatened to kill one of the group members if the firearms were not returned to him.


Why is registration of firearms a bad thing? Registration always leads to confiscation. In this episode Negan knew EXACTLY what the group had – and took it – so the group couldn’t rebel.

Continue reading Negan, Alexandria and Gun Registration – A Lesson to be Learned.

New Illinois Firearm Business Directory Launched has launched a new business directory, sponsored by Alpha Koncepts Firearm Training, specifically for businesses within the firearm industry or other businesses which may benefit firearm owners.  The business directory includes firearm dealers, firearm instructors, gunsmiths, attorneys, and more.

The business directory is absolutely free to use, including free to list your business.  Feel free to list your business today, or to find your new dealer or new gunsmith or build a relationship with a new attorney today!



Yet Another Anti Gun Protest scheduled for Chucks Gun Shop tomorrow July 20th

Tomorrow, Wednesday July 20, 2016 at 11:00 am- several groups including The Freedom First International, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Violence interrupters, The Brady Campaign of  Illinois  will conduct a Protest Rally outside of Chucks Gun Shop and Riverdale City Hall.

According to a press release they shall be “calling for the local (south side) Chicago community to come together … in a effort to balance Justice for the Community.”  However this is yet another scheme to attempt to force Chucks Gun Shop out of business.

Chucks operates completely legal and however sadly some patrons choose to break the law with legally purchased firearms.  This is not the fault of Chucks Gun Shop nor of the NRA as some claim.

Chucks Gun Shop is located at: 14310 S Indiana Ave, Riverdale, IL 60827

The Riverdale Town Hall is located at: 157 W 144th St, Riverdale, IL 60827

Springfield Armory® Introduces Newest, Youngest Members of Team Springfield™

GENESEO, IL (03/04/16) – Team Springfield™ just got a little bigger and a little younger. Springfield Armory® is proud to announce the addition of young shooters Jalise and Justine Williams to its lineup of competitors.

Jalise, 12, and Justine, 11, come to the team from St. George, Utah, and are avid shooters in their own right. What drew team captain Rob Leatham most to the new additions was their character first.

“While both are very talented, that’s not the only thing that stood out to me,” Leatham said. “What really caught my attention was how they conducted themselves at the range. The combination of such high levels of character, devotion and talent is very rare today.”

The Williams sisters are competing today through the weekend in the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) Area 2 Championships in Mesa, Ariz.

Jalise and Justine are both pleased to be a part of a team that values the spirit of competition and commitment to something you love.

“I am totally committed to the shooting sports, and I plan to make history,” Jalise said. “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but I will one day.”

“Shooting is epic,” Justine added. “It is the best thing that ever happened to me.”

To learn more about Team Springfield™’s latest competitors:

About Springfield Armory®
“The first name in American firearms,” Springfield Armory® was founded in 1777, when George Washington ordered the creation of an armory to store ammunition and gun carriages during the American Revolution. In 1794, the armory began to manufacture muskets and spent the next 150 years supplying firearms for every major American conflict. The original armory closed in 1968. In 1974, the Reese family took ownership of the Springfield Armory® name and began making the M1A™ rifle. Today, Springfield Armory® develops many products loyal to its heritage, like the 1911 pistol, while ensuring its future with innovative products, including the XD®, XD® Mod.2™, XD(M)® and XD-S® polymer pistols.