In Illinois The Concealed Carry License Is Linked With The Driver’s License

Interviewer: How do police officers usually detect this?  Can someone get charged by means of a simple traffic infraction?

Jerald Novak: That’s a very good point because in Illinois, your concealed carry license is linked to your driver’s license.  As a matter of fact, if you take out your driver’s license, if you take out your ID card and you take out your Illinois concealed carry license and you take out your FOID card, they all have the same photograph on it. Each time you apply for any one of those, they take a new photograph but they only use one photograph.  So, what that means is when you’re sending your application with the photograph, they compare it to the photographs that they have on file to make sure you are who you say you are.  So, when you get stopped by the police, they license plate, which of course is linked to your vehicle, which of course is linked to your driver’s license and your concealed carry license is linked to your driver’s license, okay.

An Individual is Not Required to Disclose that They’re Carrying a Weapon Unless Asked by the Police

The police officer, when he pulls you over or she pulls you over, they already know you’ve got a concealed carry permit, okay.  So, they are going to assume you’re carrying at that moment.  Now, when the police officer comes over to your window, there is no duty to tell that police officer that you’re carrying unless they ask, okay.  So, if they ask, you must disclose it; if you fail to disclose, they may ultimately find out that you’re carrying a firearm; guess who’s going to jail?  So, that’s important to understand.

The Location of the Concealed Firearm is Also Very Important in a Situation Involving a Police Stop

Additionally, when you’re carrying, it’s important where you’re carrying your firearm.  So, if I get stopped by the police and I pull over on the side of the road and he says to me — well, let’s say he doesn’t ask me if I’m carrying, do I have a duty to disclose?  No, I really don’t have a duty to disclose.  But he may have run my name and my concealed carry permit popped up with my driver’s license and so, maybe he knows in the back of his head that if I’m carrying my firearm in a holster on the right side of my body, do I really want to take my hands off the wheel and take my right hand past my right hip to draw my wallet out of my pocket to produce my driver’s license and insurance card?  No, because that’s a great way to get shot.

It is Advisable to Relate the Location of the Firearm in a Concise Manner when Asked by the Police

What I’m going to say is, if he asks me if I got a firearm, I’m going to tell him, “Yes, Officer.  I’m carrying a firearm.  It’s in a holster; it’s on my right side on my hip.  However in order to get to my license and insurance card that you ask me for, I have to have my hand go past my pistol so I can, take my wallet out of my right rear pocket and produce those documents”. While I’m continuing to hold the steering wheel, I am going to say, “How would you like me to handle this?” I’ll ask him, “How do you want me to handle this?”  Because remember, it’s probably on audio and video tape, okay, so I want to have that record so I can defend myself if God forbid I get arrested on that situation.

A Person Who Doesn’t Properly Handle a Police Stop Can Potentially be Shot

If he doesn’t ask me, the question then is am I under a duty to advise him?  No, I am not but I’m a little bit worried because if he’s got a partner and the partner comes up on the passenger side and I can move my right hand off of the steering wheel and I open up my jacket to put my hand between my pants and my jacket to draw my wallet.  If that backup officer sees my pistol and I haven’t advised the officer at the driver’s side window that I have a gun, the backup officer’s going to go, “Gun, gun”, and the of course the other officer who’s at the driver’s side window is going to go into panic mode and that’s the last thing you want to have happen because there’s only one thing worse than getting arrested, and that’s getting shot.

Communicating Pleasantly with the Police Can Effectively Mitigate Circumstances Involving a Police Stop

I think in that instance, I would tell them, “I have a concealed firearm, I have a concealed carry license, I have my FOID card, I have my driver’s license, I have my insurance card and my wallet is in my right rear pocket.  I don’t want to take my hand off the steering wheel, how would you like me to handle this?” In two instances, I have been personally involved and one officer said, “No, that’s no problem.  Go ahead and pull out your driver’s license”, and he didn’t ask to see my concealed carry license.  He wasn’t interested in my firearm, he just couldn’t have been more professional, he thanked me for telling him and as a matter of fact, he gave me a pass.

If Clients Can Handle the Situation with the Police, an Attorney Won’t be Needed

In another instance, the officer, he asked me if I had a firearm, I told him I did.  He asked me where it was, I told him where it was and he said, “Would you mind exiting the vehicle and then producing your identification for me?” Absolutely no problem; they are allowed to take custody of the firearm during the stop. In this instance again, the police officer did not take custody of my firearm. Because I was forthright and upfront with him, he treated me with professionalism and courtesy and once again, I got a warning and no ticket was issued.  So, it turned out to be a good experience in both instances and I believe that’s because I handled it well.  The clients that are listening to this, handle it well, I think there’s less of a need to need my services.

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