Several Illinois law enforcement groups reiterated Thursday that the state's current ban on concealed weapons remains in effect despite the legislature's passage of a new law.
The public safety advisory by Illinois State Police, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois Sheriff's was issued in response to public inquiries and an announcement by a downstate prosecutor.
Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons said Thursday residents can start carrying weapons immediately. He said "it serves no just purpose" to deny residents the ability to carry weapons.
Current Illinois law prohibits the carrying of an immediately accessible or loaded firearm on your person or in your vehicle regardless of whether it is concealed. Violators are subject to arrest.
The Illinois legislature passed concealed-carry legislation during its recent session under order of a federal appeals court, which ruled the state's ban unconstitutional. That legislation is awaiting action by Gov. Pat Quinn, who hasn't said if he will sign it or not.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday gave Illinois an extra 30 days to lift its ban on concealed weapons. That allows Quinn to review the law as allowed by Illinois' constitution.
According to the Belleville News-Democrat, Gibbons asserts people can carry a concealed weapon in Madison County as long as they meet seven requirements. Those requirements include possessing a valid Firearm Owners Identification card. Residents also must be carrying the weapon for self-defense.