Lawmaker Says Conceal-Carry Bust Was A Misunderstanding With Cops

State Rep. Curtis Tarver
Photo credit State Rep. Curtis Tarver | curtisjtarverii.com

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Illinois State Rep. Curtis Tarver II (D-25th) was arrested Monday during a traffic stop in Woodlawn and charged with having a handgun without a valid concealed carry license — though he says the arrest stems from a “clerical error” by police.

“The facts are clear and supported by documents which I have shared with the Chicago Police Department…” Tarver wrote in a statement published by Capitol Fax. “I fully expect this case will be resolved quickly and without incident.”

Officers pulled over Tarver for a broken headlight about 8:30 p.m. in the 6500 block of South Stony Island Avenue and learned he had a handgun with an expired concealed carry license, Chicago police said in a statement.

He was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor count of “failure to surrender a concealed carry license,” police said. He posted bond and is due in court Dec. 27.

In his statement, Tarver said the arrest was the result of a “clerical error,” and that Chicago police records did not reflect the current status of his concealed carry license.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the department was looking into the case, and that the problem is “likely a paperwork issue.”

Tarver said he renewed his expired Firearms Owners Identification Card this summer, and that he expected his CCL to renew along with the FOID, according to the statement.

“The department acknowledged that my FOID was valid as of November 16,” Tarver wrote. “This was two days prior to the traffic stop, indicating that the concealed carry license should also be valid.”

But spokeswoman for Illinois State Police, which regulates concealed carry licenses, said a CCL license does not automatically become valid again once an expired FOID is renewed.

“In order to reactivate the CCL due to an expired FOID, the person should submit a Request for Concealed Carry License Review form, which should be received with their notice of revocation,” state police said in an email. “It does not automatically become valid once the FOID is valid/renewed.”

State police said they do not comment on the status of a person’s CCL or FOID license.

Tarver’s office did not immediately reply to messages seeking comment.

Tarver has served since January 2019 as state representative of the 25th district, which includes parts of the Kenwood, Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Chicago, South Shore and East Side neighborhoods.

In his statement, Tarver said, “Like many people in Chicago, I applied for a concealed carry license in order to keep myself and my daughter safe. I take considerable efforts to ensure that I am always in compliance with our state’s laws and following safe practices for handling a firearm.”