Common Misconceptions Regarding The Concealed Weapons Statute

Interviewer: What are some of the more common misconceptions that people have about the statute?

Jerald Novak: I think a lot of people have a lot of misconceptions about carrying the firearm.  A lot of people think that because they’ve got a concealed carry permit, they’re now deputized.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  If you’re going to pull out your pistol, you better be damn sure that you’re in a position where your life was threatened and you had no other alternative.  Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself getting arrested. The best thing you can do, if you’re not involved, is be a good witness and call 911.

It is Not Recommended to Draw a Firearm to Assist an Unknown Person in Any Way

I would not draw my firearm to defend anyone else unless I absolutely knew that person and knew without a doubt that they were not involved in any type of criminal activity, and that’s a pretty high burden to impose upon yourself because you’re not with the other people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 12 months a year so you really don’t know what they could be up to.  So, don’t put yourself in that position. If your life’s being threatened or the life of someone you love, a wife, the husband, the child, absolutely I may draw my firearm and defend my life or my family’s wife.  In any other instance, I really would not recommend it.  I again would be a good witness and call 911.  It’s not your job to be deputized, it’s not your job to arrest people, and it’s not your job to stop crime.

The Impact of a Background Check on a Concealed Carry Permit Application

Interviewer: Will someone’s background check give them problems initially?

Jerald Novak: Almost anything in your background check will give you a problem.  Again, I’ve had clients that were arrested where the charges were dismissed and even dismissed and expunged and they were denied that they’re concealed carry permit. Any type of activity by almost anyone under the sun that’s reported to the board will get you denied.  And again, once we get that denial, we can file a written appeal.  If that’s denied, our only alternative is to go into the Circuit Court and file a lawsuit alleging that they have abused their discretion and then, we get our day in court.

People Who are Not Able to Afford an Aggressive Attorney Often Get Denied

My experience thus far has been that most of the time when we get up to the point of going to court, they’ll negotiate a resolution and issue the permit but the idea is, again, to draw it out to make it expensive for the applicant and to do everything they can to deny you your right to carry and defend yourself.  So, the problem is that if you’ve got people who are not able to afford and to hire an aggressive attorney or an attorney at all, those people just get denied, you know, which of course is a denial of the equal protection under both the Illinois and US Constitution because really, what they’re saying is they’re discriminating against people that are less affluent or less able to pay or less able to hire an attorney but they don’t care.

The Government is Focused on Keeping Any Type of Firearm Off the Street

Their goal is to keep any type of firearm off the street instead of focusing on the bad guys, instead of focusing on the gang bangers, you know, the lawful permit holders are, what I called, low hanging fruit.  They’re easy to pick on and they bolster statistics.  So, they can say they’re doing a great job taking illegal guns off the street when in fact they’re not reducing crime.  What they’re actually doing is allowing criminal activity to go unfettered, unchecked and strip the public of the ability to defend themselves.

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