In a prepared statement today, Randolph County State's Attorney Jeremy Walker announced effective immediately, "the Randolph County State’s Attorney’s Office is announcing responsible, law-abiding citizens will finally be able to exercise their constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in Randolph County."
“In May I spoke with the Randolph County Police Association and indicated I would give the legislature and the governor until June 9 (the date mandated by the Federal Appellate Court) to give citizens the opportunity to carry concealed weapons," Walker said.
"June 9 has come and gone with no resolution. Accordingly, I feel it is time to act.”
Walker said the following guidelines will be given to all local police agencies regarding people who wish to carry concealed weapons:
- The person must have a valid Firearm Owners Identification Cars (FOID);
- The person must not be prohibited from possessing a firearm under any Court Order or Statute;
- The firearm must be concealed on the person, or in a vehicle;
- The person must not be engaged in any criminal conduct;
- If stopped by a police officer, the person must immediately notify the officer if he or she is carrying a weapon;
- The person may not carry a weapon in the courthouse, any school or any church.
Provided these requirements are met, the State’s Attorney’s Office will not file charges related to the carrying of concealed weapons, Walker said.
Walker's announcement came with one warning: "One should still be cautioned the Illinois State Police has indicated, after other jurisdictions have announced similar plans, they will still arrest people for conceal carry violations. If they choose to arrest someone, the State’s Attorney’s office will not prosecute if the above criteria are met.
“This decision to allow conceal carry in Randolph County has been discussed with local law enforcement and Sheriff Mike Hoelscher. I have discussed this issue at great length with Mike and he fully supports my decision and the Second Amendment," Walker said.
“I want to commend our local legislators, specifically State Rep. (Jerry F.) Costello and State Sen. (Dave) Luechtefeld for their commitment to Second Amendment issues. It is a shame Chicago politicians are preventing a statewide resolution in this matter. If the governor decides to act on the legislation before him, I will revisit this issue, but for now I ask citizens to be responsible and use common sense in their carrying of concealed weapons," Walker said.