Illinois Mandates Masks… But there is a problem

Comply with the order... Comply with the law... or be denied your right.

Retro Style Photo Of A Police Riot Barrier In Chicago, Illinois

Illinois Governor Pritzker signed an order mandating residents wear masks in public to help combat COVID-19 infections. This, from a purely medical standpoint, is a prudent move to curb infections. If you aren’t infected with COVID-19 or another URI type illness a mask will only provide a mild increase in infection resistance. However if you are infected, even asymptomatically, the mask protects very well against transmission.

It was one of the reasons you would occasionally see someone wearing a mask prior to it becoming the most desirable fashion accessory of 2020. It drastically curbs transmission probability.

Mandating masks for everyone going out means everyone uninfected, infected asymptomatic, infected mild symptomatic, and anywhere in between will reduce transmission. It’s good advice in this regard.

The problem…

Carrying a firearm in public while wearing a mask is a felony.

All of the licensed concealed carriers in Illinois are effectively prohibited from carrying, starting today. It’s a no win scenario at the moment. Carry your firearm and skip the mask, risk citation penalty and possible confiscation of your firearm because you were violating the Governor’s order which could be viewed as committing a crime (or at the least a civil infraction) while in possession of a firearm. Illinois never errs on the side of its citizens’ firearm rights so.. Or wear the mask and be prevented from carrying your firearm, your lawful constitutional right, and risk increased vulnerability during a charged and chaotic period in our national history.

Be denied a right you already had to buy-back with a permit, because of a technicality in the law that would make you a felon instantly if you obeyed the order and exercised your licensed right under Illinois law. The final option is risk the felony charge to comply with the Governor’s order and protect yourself as is your right and license allows. It’s a defacto carry ban by mixing two rules.

It’s the same kind of crap that making it illegal to have a firearm store within X00ft of a school or place of worship is. After your officials carefully measured out the whole jurisdiction and there is no spot within the jurisdiction that is X00ft away from any of those prohibited proximity locations. Looking at you on this one Cook County (IIRC)…

In short, I smell a lawsuit FPC style.

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.