As the new concealed carry license law goes into effect this coming January, it is hard not think of the possible ramifications of the new law. Soon, Illinois residents who successfully complete the application process will be allowed to carry concealed weapons in public, subject to the limitations of the Firearm Concealed Carry Act.
Given the upcoming start to the new law, restaurants and places of business are already trying to learn how and if they can prohibit customers from entering with weapons, people are talking about personal safety concerns and gun advocates are defending the law.
But, in addition to these concerns, the upcoming implementation of the law also raises the question, how will it impact individuals regarding the legal system? Specifically, how will basic arrests or traffic stops change? Before, it may not have been presumed that people were carrying weapons in their cars or on their persons, but now that it will be legal to do so, will police officers handle basic stops and arrests differently? It seems likely that if people can legally carry concealed weapons that police will have to be more vigilant and aggressive in their confrontations with all suspects, no matter how petty or small the offense. A worry arises that with personal safety concerns rising, so will tensions with suspects. One can only hope that no injuries will result to any party in that situation.
Until time can tell us the true impact, it seems wise to stay calm, polite and aware during possible traffic stops or run-ins with police.