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.”