Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has been surprisingly fair to gun owners during the coronavirus pandemic, keeping gun stores in the state open for business and extending FOID and concealed carry licenses for several months after the current state of emergency is lifted. Pritzker’s latest executive order, however, has some gun owners scratching their heads and worried about their ability to legally carry.
Pritzer has included an order for all individuals over the age of two years to wear masks when inside commercial establishments, as well as outside when social distancing measures are impossible. One unintended consequence of the governor’s order, however, is that wearing a mask while armed is a no-no under Illinois law. In fact, it’s a class four felony to be armed and masked. Was Pritzker trying to use his mask order as an end-around Illinois’ carry laws, or to entrap gun owners into committing a crime if they carried their legally owned firearm while wearing a mask?
I don’t think so. In fact Prizker and the Illinois State Police are reassuring gun owners and concealed carry holders that their right to bear arms is not at risk, even with the mask order set to take effect on Friday.