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.

Right to Carry, not Right to be a Jackass

A recent study by the Crime Prevention Research Center shows that people with concealed carry licenses are truly the MOST law abiding citizens in the United States. However in every bunch there are bad apples.

While Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses currently (September 14th, 2016) hover around 250,000 people licensed to carry a concealed firearm in Illinois, and revocations are around 250 as of August 2015, that is a rate of less than .001 or 0.1%! Of those 250 revoked, some of the people mentioned on this page have chosen to become revoked in a spectacular manner.

When you have gone through the proper training and when you have paid the proper fees to the government, and when you have receive your permission slip; you have the right to carry a concealed firearm.  While the laws of different states certainly will vary, no state that I am aware of gives you the right to be a jackass with your concealed carry license.

Continue reading Right to Carry, not Right to be a Jackass

Ilinois Now Accepting Non-Resident Concealed Carry Applications from South Carolina

Originally Posted April 3rd, 2014

Illinois is now accepting concealed carry license applications from residents of South Carolina. Currently Hawaii and South Carolina are the only states with substantially similar laws and mental health reporting.

According to the CCL4Illinois.com website, the following are the requirements prior to application for Non-Residents.

NON-RESIDENTS

In accordance with 430 ILCS 66/40 (b), out of state residents may be eligible for an Illinois Concealed Carry License if your state meets the definition of substantially similar as established by rule. See 20 Il. Admin. Code 1231.10. Currently, the states identified below have been determined to have laws related to firearm ownership, possession, and carrying that are substantially similar to the requirements to obtain a license under Illinois’ law; and, therefore, may apply for an Concealed Carry License. This list will be updated as additional states are identified as substantially similar. Further Information concerning the regulations for non-resident applications can be found at 20 Il. Admin. Code 1231.110.

 
  • Hawaii
  • South Carolina

Other requirements if your state meets the substantially similarly definition:

  • 16 hours of Concealed Carry firearms training provided by an ISP approved Instructor.
  • An electronic copy of a valid concealed carry license from my home state.
  • Electronic Copy of my training certificate(s). You will be required to upload your electronic certificate during the application process.
  • A head and shoulder electronic photograph taken within the last 30 days.
  • An Illinois Digital I.D.Java will be required for all of these computer functions to work correctly. To find out if you have the current Java click on this link and then click on “verify java version” to find out if you have Java. AGAIN – YOU MUST HAVE JAVA LOADED ON YOUR PC.

    Visit the Illinois Digital ID website to obtain a digital ID.

    NOTE: If you have questions, visit the Illinois Digital ID website FAQ page or call the Central Management Services Help Desk at 1-866-465-9119 for assistance with the Digital ID. Questions regarding the Concealed Carry License application process should be directed to the Illinois State Police at 217-782-7980.

  • A Valid Driver’s License or State Identification card.
  • Be able to provide the last ten years of residency.
  • A notarized affidavit documenting the applicant’s eligibility under both state and federal laws, the understanding of the laws pertaining to possession and transport of firearms, acknowledgment the applicant is subject to the jurisdiction of the Illinois State Police and the Illinois courts and that the applicant meets the mental health standards in Illinois to obtain a firearm.
  • $300.00 payable with a credit card or electronic check.

Illinois to Allow Concealed Carry Applications Without Computer

Illinois to Allow Concealed Carry Applications Without Computer Access

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Police (ISP) officials announced today that an alternative application option to apply for a Concealed Carry License (CCL) is now available for those individuals without computer access.<!–more–>

Applicants can contact the ISP Firearms Services (FSB) Customer Service Center phone line at (217) 782-7980 and provide a FSB call taker with the same CCL application information that is currently required through the CCL on-line process.

The FSB call taker will need the applicant’s full name, any previous names, date of birth, driver’s license number or state ID, Firearms Owner Identification (FOID) card number, current mailing address, ten years of previous address history, fingerprint Transaction Control Number (TCN) (which is optional), training instructor’s name and the Concealed Carry Trainer’s Identification (CCTID) number. Applicants should have this information readily available prior to calling the FSB Customer Service Center phone line.

Upon validation of the FOID number and driver’s license or identification card, payment in the form of credit card or electronic check will be needed and securely processed by the FSB call taker.

Once the CCL telephone application interview is completed and payment confirmed, the applicant will receive the application in the mail. Upon receipt, the applicant must review the application for accuracy, initial all required areas, answer the background check questions, and sign and date the application. The applicant must also attach a 2 inch by 2 inch headshot photo (shoulder to head) taken within the last 30 days and provide all required training certificates.

The completed application, photo, and training certificates must be returned to the ISP through the U.S. Postal Service before the application will be processed and a license issued.

The Illinois State Police is providing this alternative method to ensure that the public has options to participate in the CCL application process and to ensure turnaround times are met in accordance with the Firearm Concealed Carry Act.

To date, more than 78,000 CCL applications have been submitted and more than 60,000 are active across Illinois.

ISP continues to encourage the public to use the on-line CCL application option when possible for the most efficient processing method.

Completed CCL applications, photo and required training certificates can be mailed to:
The Illinois State Police
Attn: CCL Application
801 South 7th Street, 400M
Springfield, IL 62704