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Illinois lawmaker arrested after he had a gun in his car but no valid concealed carry license, police say

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CHICAGO — State Rep. Curtis Tarver II was arrested this week after Chicago police pulled him over for a traffic violation, found a gun in his car and discovered his concealed carry license had been revoked, authorities said.

The officers noticed Tarver driving a Chevrolet sedan with only one working headlight around 8:30 p.m. Monday in the 6500 block of South Stony Island Avenue, police said. After pulling him over, the officers spotted a handgun inside. Tarver handed them the permit but it had been revoked.

Tarver was taken into custody and charged with a misdemeanor count of not having a valid concealed carry license. He was also cited for the broken headlight.

It was not known when or why the permit had been revoked. It can be revoked for a number of reasons ranging from the owner being charged with a felony or simply failing to renew. Licenses must be renewed every five years. When a license is revoked, firearm owners must turn over their weapons to police.

The Illinois State Police, which oversees the concealed carry law, said it could not comment on Tarver’s case.

According to a Tribune investigation earlier this year, as many as 30,000 guns may still be in the possession of Illinois residents who failed to turn over their weapons after their Firearm Owner’s Identification cards were revoked. Gun owners must have a FOID card to get a concealed carry permit.

Tarver, a Democrat, began serving in the House in January, representing the 25th District which includes Hyde Park and the lakefront area. A conviction for the misdemeanor would not keep him from remaining in the state House.

In December of 2012, then-state Sen. Donne Trotter, a Chicago Democrat who supported of gun control measures and for years opposed allowing concealed carry in Illinois, was arrested at O’Hare International Airport for trying to board a flight to Washington with a handgun in his carry-on bag.

While he was initially charged with a felony, which would have cost him his Senate seat if convicted, Trotter ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to a year of court supervision. He also agreed to give talks on gun safety to fulfill 60 hours of court-ordered community service.

Trotter resigned from the Senate in January 2018 and is now a lobbyist for clients including ComEd, remaing a frequent presence at the state Capitol.

Tarver will next appear in court on Dec. 27.

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