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ALPRs and concealed carry code on driver's licenses

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

ALPRs and concealed carry code on driver's licenses

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
July 20, 2013

With the popularity of new "toys" like the Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR), will this create a problem for licensed concealed-carry drivers?

How likely is it (probably somewhere between "very likely" and "it's a done deal") that the State of Illinois will encode driver's license records with concealed-carry information?

Personally, I don't have any problem with an officer having advance knowledge that I might have a concealed-carry license and might be armed at the time of a traffic stop. Cops must be assuming already that every driver and even passenger is armed. They must be vigilant for their own safety.

But with ALPR will there be some cops who go hunting? Would there be a way to program the ALPR to alert whenever a car registered to a concealed-carry licensee came within range?

Then an aggressive cop might wait for the car to weave a ½-inch in the traffic lane and pull over the driver. Maybe he'd find that the driver was armed but his CC License might not be in his immediate possession. The cop decides that the wallet in the suit jacket on the back seat is not in the driver's immediate possession, so he arrests the driver and impounds his vehicle.

The cop gets brownie points at the station for the bust. The driver gets the case thrown out of court after spending a few thousand dollars on lawyer's fees and towing and administrative tow fine.

And then he sues the police department and the officer, along with the supervisors.

Would law-enforcement agencies in Illinois stoop so low? My guess is that, if I can think of it, they have already thought of it.

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