Can you transport your firearm through gun free zones?

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A common question is about transportation of a firearm (not carrying) through a gun free zone in Illinois.  The answer depends who you ask and if the gun free zone is a federally prohibited area such as a post office.
 
My opinion (this is not legal advice) is that you may TRANSPORT through most gun free zones in Illinois, but may not CARRY through gun free zones. Like I said it depends who you ask, I know some instructors who say you can’t and when I questioned this they said because they didn’t want to give bad advice – I said they are giving bad advice either way. But let’s examine what the law says…
 
(430 ILCS 66/65)
Sec. 65. Prohibited areas.
(a) A licensee under this Act shall not knowingly carry a firearm on or into:
 

The Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Licensing Act says CARRY, it does not say TRANSPORT. Furthermore, if you don’t have a license but only have a FOID, you are absolutely able to TRANSPORT through these areas, because it says a LICENSEE, so it only makes sense that licensees may also TRANSPORT.

 

Furthermore, to legislative intent. Rep Brandon Phelps, who was the sponsor of the concealed carry bill and a major champion for gun rights in Illinois, said In the 5/23/2013 House Judiciary Committee Hearing, during the legislative process that became the Firearm Concealed Carry Licensing Act…
 
“Public Transit, right now, is out. But you can still carry an unloaded firearm in your briefcase, backpacks, fanny packs, things of that nature, and it’s consistent with current law as well.”
 
By the way, I would never recommend anyone do this unless they are trying to be the test case, because we have had no test case yet. If you do it be aware, you might get a ruling named after you. I for one would not personally hesitate to TRANSPORT through most gun free zones.
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Gear Review: The Sig Sauer P320 Pistol

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Interested in Purchasing a new Pistol for just about anything? This Sig Sauer P320 Review may help.  The P320 is perhaps the pinnacle on Handgun Design.  It is to handguns what the AR15 is to rifles when you compare modularity and ease of customization.

Rather than change grip panels, you can change the entire frame in the same time it takes to change grip panels. Want a longer or shorter slide, simply buy an X-change kit. With the fire control group (the serialized part) you can flip and flop and change up your firearm easily. The p320 allows multiple setups, with 1 FCG – which is like having multiple firearms with the same trigger.

P320 Trigger Group
P320 Trigger Group

If you don’t wish to mix and match parts yourself, the Sig Sauer P320 is available with multiple factory configurations. The P320 is available in multiple calibers, multiple frame sizes, multiple slide length and different types of sights. The Sig Sauer P320 shares many of the same parts as the P250, other than the Fire Control Group; which is double action on the P250 and striker fire on the P320.

Calibers: 9mmx19, 357 Sig, 40 S&W. A 45 ACP is also available in a larger FCG

Frame Sizes include (from smaller to larger) sub compact, compact, carry and full size. The frame is also available in an X5 configuration which is an improved full sized frame. Each frame size is further tailored to the shooter with small, medium and large size frames to fit the shooters hand.

 

The P320 Sub compact is ideal for concealed carry and is pretty typical in size to most sub compacts on the market. The subcompact magazine is 12 rounds in 9mm, but will accept larger magazines. The barrel length is 3.6″.

 

The compact size P320 is about as large as the average person would be able to comfortably and properly conceal on a daily basis.  However a person of smaller stature might not be able to conceal the compact size. The barrel on the compact size is slightly longer than the sub compact at 3.9″, and the magazine holds an additional 3 rounds in 9mm.

 

The p320 carry size has the same slide length as the compact, but utilizes the full frame grip and full frame 17 round (9mm) magazine. The carry size firearm could be a good choice for outside the waistband open carry, but would personally be too large for me to properly conceal on a daily basis inside my waist band.

 

The full size P320 has a 17 round capacity magazine (9mm) and a 4.7″ length barrel. The full size may be good for duty carry or competition. The longer barrel gives you better sight radius for slightly better accuracy and the full size frame makes the firearm slightly easier to control.

 

Sights are available with standard 3 white dot setup, with night sights, and with a red dot RX sight. Also available is the suppressor sights on the TacOps and RX models.

P320 TacOps
P320 TacOps

Magazine capacity is available between 10 rounds and 21 rounds (in 9mm). With the addition of a X spacer, you may adapt full size magazines (17+ round 9mm) and make them fit in the carry size frame without a gap between the magazine and the grip.

The p320 compact has become my daily carry and I trust my life to this firearm.

 

P320 Range Report

I wanted to test the P320 with various types of ammunition in an effort to see which ammo the p320 preferred for both range use as well as defensive use.  The test was simple, fire controlled shots using various types of 9mm ammunition at the same target size, shape, and distance. In this case 2 different model P320’s were fired by myself, standing and unsupported at 15′ into 3″ targets.

P320 Test Equipment
P320 Test Equipment

 

The practice ammunition I used to test the P320 includes Freedom Munitions 115 grain FMJ remanufacturerd (my typical range ammunition), Blazer Bronze 115 grain FMJ, Winchester white box 9mm 115 grain FMJ, and Wolf 115 grain FMJ.  The defensive ammunition I used to test the P320 includes Federal HST 147 grain JHP, Hornady Critical Duty 135 grain JHP, and PMC Star Fire 124 grain JHP.  During testing hundreds of rounds were fired with zero malfunctions from 8 different genuine Sig Sauer magazines.

The test was done on an indoor range on an 83 degree summer day with fairly high humidity. This made the interior range stuffy.

Sig Sauer P320 Compact FMJ Results
Sig Sauer P320 Compact FMJ Results
Sig Sauer P320 Compact JHP Results
Sig Sauer P320 Compact JHP Results
Sig Sauer P320 Full JHP Results
Sig Sauer P320 Full JHP Results
Sig Sauer P320 Full FMJ Results
Sig Sauer P320 Full FMJ Results

 

The results of the range test… The Sig Sauer P320 will do it’s job if the shooter can do his or her job.  Though I would like to tighten my groups, all rounds were more than accurate enough for defensive purposes. Additional testing is needed if we wish to split hairs on which ammunition is the most accurate.

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What is the best gun for concealed carry?

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Choosing a firearm based on price is probably a good way to waste some money. The best gun for concealed carry is the one that fits you. There are no one size fits all firearms so if a Glock fits you it may not fit your friend.  Obviously budget is important and the gun you have is better than the top tier firearm in the case at the gun store because you cannot afford it, but whenever possible budget should be set aside when selecting a firearm because there are so many more important criteria. Continue reading What is the best gun for concealed carry?

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Are finger prints required for an Illinois Concealed Carry License?

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A fairly common question, and one that has received alot of disinformation from various sources, is the question “Are finger prints required for an Illinois concealed carry license?”

The short and simple answer is probably not.  That’s kind of vague though. In most cases finger prints are not required, however the Illinois FCCL Licensing Review Board may request finger prints on a case by case basis. This request likely would only happen if you have a very common name.  Students who CHOOSE to submit finger prints with their application may receive their License approvals up to 30 days quicker than those who choose to submit their license application without finger prints.

Even though finger prints are optional, some instructors are insisting their students must get finger printed.  While there is nothing wrong with getting finger printed before applying for your Illinois Concealed Carry license, it simply is not true that it is a requirement for every applicant. Infact the added fees for the live scan finger printing service only serves to drive up the price to exercise a freedom, the right to bear arms.

So why are some unscrupulous persons insisting that applicants must be finger printed?  I can’t answer for all, but it’s probably about money.  Some instructors have gotten setup with the very costly Live Scan finger print scanners, and are now trying to recoup that investment. Other live scan finger print vendors whom have been setup scanning for other purposes are offering instructors kick backs.

But don’t take my word for it. The Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Licensing Act (FCCL) states the following in regards to finger prints:

The Board shall issue a decision within 30 days of receipt of the objection from the Department. However, the Board need not issue a decision within 30 days if:
(1) the Board requests information from the applicant, including but not limited to electronic fingerprints to be submitted to the Department, in accordance with subsection (e) of this Section, in which case the Board shall make a decision within 30 days of receipt of the required information from the applicant;

(8) a full set of fingerprints submitted to the Department in electronic format, provided the Department may accept an application submitted without a set of in which case the Department shall be granted 30 days in addition to the 90 days provided under subsection (e) of Section 10 of this Act to issue or deny a license;

Sec. 50. License renewal. Applications for renewal of a license shall be made to the Department. A license shall be renewed for a period of 5 years upon receipt of a completed renewal application, completion of 3 hours of training required under Section 75 of this Act, payment of the applicable renewal fee, and completion of an investigation under Section 35 of this Act. The renewal application shall contain the information required in Section 30 of this Act, except that the applicant need not resubmit a full set of fingerprints.

In considering an objection of a law enforcement agency or the Department, the Board shall review the materials received with the objection from the law enforcement agency or the Department. By a vote of at least 4 commissioners, the Board may request additional information from the law enforcement agency, Department, or the applicant, or the testimony of the law enforcement agency, Department, or the applicant. The Board may require that the applicant submit electronic fingerprints to the Department for an updated background check where the Board determines it lacks sufficient information to determine eligibility. The Board may only consider information submitted by the Department, a law enforcement agency, or the applicant. The Board shall review each objection and determine by a majority of commissioners whether an applicant is eligible for a license.

(1) the Board requests information from the applicant, including but not limited to electronic fingerprints, to be submitted to the Department, in accordance with subsection (e) of this Section, in which case the Board shall make a decision within 30 days of receipt of the required information from the applicant;

 

Read the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Licensing Act here: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3497&ChapterID=39

Now that you have the facts, if you are considering an instructor who is telling you that fingerprints are mandatory one of two things is happening; Either the instructor has not read the law, or the instructor is intentionally misleading you. Ask yourself, “Either way is this the right instructor for me?”

 

Update September 8th, 2016

It has come to my attention that some finger print vendors are claiming that it may take 150 days for the Illinois State Police to process your Illinois Concealed Carry License Application if submitted without prints. I have heard this vendor state twice that the ISP is sending out extension letters for applications without prints.

THIS IS NOT TRUE. It is a scare tactic to trick you into getting finger prints. Currently applications without fingerprints are taking about 110 days on average while applications with finger prints are taking about 45 days, based on conversations with my students and other licensees. Yes your application will be processed quicker if you get finger prints done, but I can not stand lies and scare tactics!

The following is a correspondence from the Illinois State Police on this subject…

ISP FSB has not sent any extension letters out. Only the CCLRB has requested additional time and it does not matter if prints are submitted or not. If you apply without fingerprints it is processed in 120 days.

Respectfully,
Illinois State Police
Firearms Services Bureau
Concealed Carry Unit

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