How to Choose a Concealed Carry Holster for Illinois Concealed Carry Licensees

Choosing the right concealed carry holster is important to people in any state, but what about the laws in Illinois? Are there details you need to be aware of when carrying concealed objects, whether as a resident or non-resident, in Illinois?

First of all, you need to understand the Illinois law that pertains to both residents and non-residents carrying concealed objects. Non-residents may NOT carry a concealed weapon on their person without an Illinois Carry License. There is an allowance for non-residents who have a gun license in their home state, but that allowance only gives them permission to carry a loaded gun in their car. Therefore, non-residents without an Illinois carry license do not have to wear a holster while in the Land of Lincoln.

Second is the issue of “impression” and what “hidden” means. In some states, if the gun is detectable under your clothing due to the “imprint” it leaves through your clothing, you have committed a crime. However, in Illinois it is less clear. Since the law was passed in July 2013, not a single permit has been issued, nor has the law been tested in court. However, it does specify that your firearm must be “fully or largely” concealed.

The meaning of “mostly” hidden is obviously open to interpretation. However, the legislative intent (clarified during the debate on this bill in the House and Senate in Springfield) is that momentary or accidental gun exposure should NOT be considered illegal. In other words, if your jacket gets wrinkled or the wind blows your shirt open and someone catches a glimpse of your gun, you’re protected by law.

No doubt the courts will have to interpret whether the print is also protected. In short, you need to choose a holster and a place on your body to wear the holster, which eliminates impression or accidental exposure.

So what is the best concealed carry holster/position in Illinois? Unless you’re wearing a jacket, the hardest way to carry it concealed will be with a hip holster. While tactically one of the best places to carry, it’s also the hardest to hide completely.

A small pistol, such as a .380 or other “pocket pistol,” is easily concealed in a pocket holster. The holster should be selected to ensure it covers the trigger for safety, keeps the gun properly oriented for rapid deployment, and provides a “locking” impression that is indistinguishable as a gun when clothing is tight.

The other really effective holsters for those who would carry concealed weapons in Illinois are shoulder holsters and ankle holsters. Be sure to train yourself to draw with these holsters though, as they present very real challenges in quickness (ankle holster) and safety (shoulder holsters – think sweeping away unwanted targets with your mouth when you draw).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *