Illinois State Police Clarify That CCL Holders Can (Probably) Wear Masks During Pandemic, (Maybe) Avoid 3-Yr Jail Sentence

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced a mandate last week requiring anyone over the age of two to wear a mask. (Photo: JB Pritzker Facebook)

Concealed carry license holders in Illinois were thrown for a loop last week when Gov. JB Pritzker announced that all residents over the age of two must wear a mask in public. The problem? Wearing a mask while carrying a concealed weapon is a class 4 felony that carries a one-to-three-year jail sentence.

Both state police and at least one county attorney general have assured concealed carriers that they’re unlikely to face prosecution for following the governor’s health safety order while carrying a firearm.

Illinois State Police released the following statement, telling residents they believe law enforcement will use “appropriate judgment” (emphasis added):

 “The Governor’s Executive Order regarding the wearing of masks or protective facial coverings in public settings during this serious global pandemic was not intended to negatively impact permit holders under the Illinois Concealed Carry Act while legally carrying firearms. The Executive Order does not require or suggest that law enforcement should arrest or criminally charge conceal carry license permit holders for wearing protective masks while in public as long as they are complying with the other provisions of the Illinois Concealed Carry Act and are not committing any other violations of Illinois law. ISP has confidence that law enforcement officers across the state will use appropriate judgment and that elected State’s Attorneys will likewise exercise sound prosecutorial discretion.”

SEE ALSO: WATCH: Homeowner Fights, Kills Intruder Wearing Medical Mask

The Piatt County State’s Attorney Dana Rhoades sounded a similar note, telling the Piatt County Journal Republic, “While it is difficult to make sweeping statements about what the Piatt County State’s Attorney’s Office will or will not prosecute, the Piatt County State’s Attorney will not prosecute a citizen, otherwise acting in a lawful manner, who is properly carrying a concealed weapon pursuant to a valid concealed carry permit, while wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

“The Piatt County State’s Attorney would not attempt to penalize a person who is lawfully exercising a Constitutional right while, at the same time, observing health and safety measures to present the spread of COVID-19,” Rhoades added.

Despite assurances from state police, local law enforcement and state attorneys, the government may still have the authority to arrest and prosecute someone for carrying a concealed firearm while wearing a mask. If the CCL holder is not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, it’s difficult to imagine the prosecution ultimately succeeding. But local law enforcement who disapprove of concealed carry may still use the governor’s mandate as an excuse to harass CCL holders.

SEE ALSO: Georgia Man Shoots, Kills Three Masked Teens Trying to Rob His Home

According to Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chapter 38, Sec. 24-1. under unlawful use of weapons:

a) a person commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons when he knowingly:

9) carries or possesses in a vehicle or on or about his or her person any pistol, revolver, stun gun or taser or firearm or ballistic knife when he or she is hooded, robed or masked in such manner as to conceal his or her identity.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Liam May 4, 2020, 1:54 am

    Easy, just get everyone a dead president’s type mask made in thier likeness…problem solved.

  • Kevin McCarthy May 1, 2020, 3:11 pm

    My local wildlife enforcement officers were unhappy with something that happened on my Alaskan military unit’s land a decade ago. None of us currently stationed there had a clue a ‘feud’ was active. Because a dead tweety bird was found next to my property – I got ticketed for poaching. What should have been a ‘no brainer – like a bird flying into a window’ – the head of enforcement refused to use common sense. I had to lawyer up, work with the DA – and because I was about to retire and move in a week – I did not have time to get my ‘day in court’. I had to do a plea bargain. Needless to say those officers are no longer allowed on the property.

    With that experience in mind…… does anyone really, truly, expect that a law enforcement officer is going to let someone who is obviously violating a Class 4 felony to slide? Think of the officer’s predicament – what if you go on a rampage? The news media would bake the officer alive for letting you go. These are the same people who have arrested gun owners for having the slightest, tiniest thing different. How many of you have heard a cop say, ‘this is what the law says’………. you never hear, ‘I think they didn’t mean for this to happen – have a nice day’.

    GOA, NRA, or your local gun club should file for clarification. Now is not the time to get arrested and stuck in jail with the virus going around.

    • Liam May 4, 2020, 1:50 am

      Most times I’ve heard an leo say this is what the law says what followed was absolutely ridiculous and largely fiction. For this reason I keep a bookmark on my devices to Lexis/nexus and westlaw with more bookmarks linking to statutes I feel most likely to be misrepresented. And all the rest are right there with them, anything can be located in two minutes if you learn the software, it quite good these days…

  • Max Powers May 1, 2020, 2:45 pm

    J.B. TrustFund(HyattHotels)BabyHuey Pritzger is determined to drive Illinois into bankruptcy for a variety of reasons. The true Nanny State is Illinois. Please watch the Non 2-A parts of the news over the upcoming weeks. He’s going to try to keep the State closed, prison-style, until Jesus himself returns, books a meeting with him and asks him nicely to please help the State by reopening. Nothing else short of that will be heard by ole Huey. The problem is, ole TrustFundBaby has already shipped his family to Florida (a State that is reopening . . . ) and gets angry if you mention this, because of his strong belief of keeping public matters completely separate from private matters. This do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do attitude from a guy who sucks the silver spoon between public appearances is so out of touch with reality, and I must strongly caution the CC holders in the State to be VERY careful wearing a mask and carrying your rights in your holster. The Illinois Attorney General (don’t get me started on THAT clown!) will be instructed to prosecute with a vengeance, so when they re-open the Constitution for re-negotiation they can use the plannedemic as justification to restrict 2A down to a memory from your distant past. WWG1WGA!

  • John Stanton May 1, 2020, 9:08 am

    According to the UUW statute, you are in violation if you wear a hooded sweatshirt, your bathrobe or a prient’s cassock or a President mask, like criminals in movies do. And if I don’t intend to hide my identity but to prevent the spread of disease there is no violation. Of course anti A2ers will still get your arrested, charged and go through the process. Just like in many states where politicians who know best how to protect us have issued orders cancelling the Second Amendment.

  • Thomas Adderley May 1, 2020, 7:00 am

    Another Politician attempting to do good by making everyone wear face masks. However, the attempt is plagued by the typical political shortfall of failing to consult those effected and those charged with enforcement. A shortfall in consideration of ‘unintended consequences’. Please send the Governor to a remedial class on Management and Leadership.

    • MagnumOpUS May 1, 2020, 9:23 am

      Truth is, DemoKKKrats have no interest in Management or Leadership. Their methodology is tyranny via arbitrary orders and decrees.

      Our Republic is infected by them when good people stay home on election day, not realizing that not voting for a Republican (or even a RINO: I voted for McLame and Romney, preferring them to the 8 years of the Kenyan King. You?) is a passive ballot cast for the DemoKKKrat.

      Why is voting so difficult for people? Hopefully, we won’t be complacent this November, all ye fellow Patriots.

  • Tony May 1, 2020, 6:59 am

    “Make sure you write your name on your forehead..”

    Just write your name on your mask, in plain view of the world.

    You could put your name on your hat or jacket, but the mask is easy.

    • MadDog Mike May 1, 2020, 10:19 am

      How about we get a number tattooed on our arms!!!!!

      That’s what these little Hitlers are after anyway!!!!

    • Lawrence Braico May 1, 2020, 3:39 pm

      I live in New Jersey. We have no 2A Constitutional rights here. Lately we have NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, PERIOD!!
      My masks says “MURPHY SUCKS!”

  • Abner Yokum May 1, 2020, 6:21 am

    Okay, then. Make sure you write your name on your forehead when wearing a mask, to that your identity is not concealed.

    Easy enuf. LOL

  • Winston May 1, 2020, 3:25 am

    So many minority males with masks on in cars and inside stores make it look like some dysfunctional criminal gang world that has come out of nowhere. Good luck giving descriptions of criminal activity as many cities have emptied their jails due to the plannedemic.

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