Friday, Dec 6, 2013
Perry County Law Enforcement Prepare for Concealed Carry
PINCKNEYVILLE -- Thousands of people in Illinois are getting ready for the state's concealed carry law. That includes police who will soon have to enforce the new rules for carrying guns in public.
At more than 160 pages long, the new concealed carry law is a lot to learn.
"What locations are prohibited to what's defined as concealed," said Perry County Assistant State's Attorney David Searby.
Perry County, Pinckneyville, and Du Quoin law enforcement departments are taking in the list of rules during seminars designed just for their jobs.
"They need to know when they're out there enforcing the law what's legal and what's not," said Searby.
Searby is teaching the short class. He spent the last few months going through the legislation. The goal is to give officers a good knowledge of the important basics. That way they can safely patrol and respond to calls.
"In Illinois, the licensee is not required to automatically disclose that they are carrying a concealed firearm," said Searby. "Only if a law enforcement officer asks them."
The new law also means new questions for local police.
Traffic stops is one area that may need some changes. Departments will now have to decide how they want their officers to handle concealed carry when they come up to a car window.
"Are we going to say you know you need to display the weapon in the car to us?" said Perry County Sheriff Keith Kellerman. "Do you not display the weapon as long as we know its there?"
Kellerman attended the session Thursday. He supports concealed carry, but believes it will take time for everyone to adjust.
"I think a lot of officers are going to be really apprehensive at first," said Kellerman.
Kellerman is reviewing the protocol his deputies follow.
He also hopes the public understands the new responsibility that comes with weapons.
"If you use the gun, you know you're setting yourself up for some serious liability issues," said Kellerman.
The Illinois State Police are expected to release the concealed carry permit application in January. Many people have already started the required training to receive that permit.
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