"Concealed Carry Authorized in Macon County"

 

As a career prosecutor it has been an honor and a privilege to uphold my duty of seeking justice and protecting the public.

Throughout my career I have aggressively prosecuted felons who possess firearms and criminals who use firearms in the

commission of their crimes.  At the same time, I have always been an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment, and I am a

proponent of concealed carry.  Having been a prosecutor for 26 years it is evident that restrictive gun laws will never prevent

criminals from arming themselves with firearms.  Such laws affect only law abiding citizens, depriving them of their right to

protect themselves and their loved ones.

 

Recent legal developments have created uncertainty among the citizens of the State of Illinois as to the status of our gun

laws, and as to their rights to possess and carry firearms.  As Chief Law Enforcement Officer for Macon County, I feel it is my

responsibility to minimize any ambiguity that may exist, so that residents of Macon County will not fear being prosecuted for

exercising their constitutional rights. On December 11, 2012 the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Moore v. Madigan

that Illinois’ Unlawful Use of Weapons statute, insofar as it provides for a “blanket prohibition” on concealed carry, is

unconstitutional, recognizing the right of law abiding citizens to defend themselves.  The Court stayed its ruling so that the

legislature could craft, and the governor could sign, a concealed carry law.  To date no legislation has been enacted.

When I took office I swore an oath to support the United States Constitution.  In light of the decision in Moore v. Madigan,

that oath prevents me from initiating prosecution against individuals for violating a statute that has been determined to be a

violation of our Second Amendment rights. 

 

Inherent in the right to keep and bear arms, however, is the need for responsible possession and use of those firearms.  The

provisions of the proposed Illinois concealed carry law awaiting the governor’s signature, in accord with the concealed carry

laws of most of our sister states, requires firearm safety training as a prerequisite to obtaining a permit, which is a necessity for

public safety.  I have worked closely on this matter with Macon County Sheriff Thomas Schneider.  I have discussed the issues

involved with the Chiefs of every law enforcement agency in Macon County, and with many rank and file law enforcement officers,

in order to ensure that local law enforcement is unified in its approach toward protecting the public while simultaneously

respecting the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens.  I have also consulted with several interested community leaders and

concerned citizens who have graciously provided valuable insight from their perspective.

 

After carefully considering the collaborative views and insights of experienced law enforcement officers, interested community

leaders, and concerned law abiding citizens, I am initiating a written policy regarding concealed carry.  Effective immediately,

my office will not initiate prosecution against persons who possess or carry a firearm in a vehicle or concealed on or about

their person under the following circumstances:

 

1.  The individual has been issued and is in possession of a valid FOID card; AND
2.  The individual either:

 a.  Has been issued and is in possession of a valid Concealed Carry Permit from

      another State which requires firearms safety training as a condition of issuance;

 

OR

 

b.  Has in his or her possession proof of completion of any of the following:

  ·  Any state-established hunter education or safety course; or

  ·  Military, law enforcement, or security firearms training; or
  ·  Firearms safety training from a course taught by a national or state organization

     that certifies firearms instructors, or by an instructor certified by such an organization,  

     or to the public by a law enforcement agency;

 

AND

 

3.  The individual possesses the firearm solely for potential self defense; AND

4.  The individual is not involved in ANY type of criminal conduct; AND
5.  The individual is not under the influence of alcohol or drugs; AND

6.  The individual is not prohibited by any law or  court order from possessing a firearm.

 

As a caveat, this policy applies only to conduct that was previously prohibited under 720 ILCS 5/24-1(a)(4) and (a)(10)

(Unlawful Use of Weapons) and 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6(a)(1), (a)(3)(A), and (a)(3)(B) (Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapons). 

Furthermore, in no manner should this policy be taken as giving authority to anyone to irresponsibly or illegally possess or

use firearms.  My office will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law any persons involved in irresponsible or illegal firearm

activity.

Those who choose to carry or possess firearms under circumstances are advised that this is a temporary policy which shall be
revoked upon enactment of concealed carry legislation in the State of Illinois.  Upon enactment of such legislation residents

must comply with all aspects of that concealed carry law.

 

The decision to exercise the right of concealed carry is not one which should be undertaken lightly or with a cavalier attitude.

Illinois law provides limited circumstances in which deadly force can be used.  Improper use of deadly force can lead to criminal

prosecution and/or civil liability.  For this reason, I will be hosting a Community Forum on Concealed Carry in the near future

to educate our residents on the ramifications of improper use of deadly force.  I encourage all concerned citizens to attend. 

We are also posting on our office website, www.sa-macon-il.us, an explanation of Illinois law as it pertains to the use of deadly

force.

 

 

Jay Scott
Macon County State’s Attorney