ATTORNEY CHRISTINA M. WILLMAN BECOMES SHAREHOLDER
We are pleased to announce that Attorney Christina M. Willman has become an owner/shareholder in the firm. The name of the firm has been changed to Elliott, Trainor & Willman, P.C. Christina has also become an owner of the building in which the law firm is located.
Ms. Willman began working for the firm as a law clerk in 2017 and has been a licensed attorney in the general practice of law with the firm since 2018. Her practice involves working with clients in the areas of agriculture, agribusiness, estate planning, real estate, business and commercial law matters, banking, and litigation.
Christina stated, "I wish to express my sincere appreciation to all of the clients that I have worked with and the community which has welcomed me and helped me become successful. Being able to help individuals, families, and businesses in the community with their goals or legal problems has been fulfilling.”
Christina graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law. While attending the University of Iowa, she worked as a Student Attorney in the Legal Clinic in the estate planning and general litigation groups. She also competed on the Jessup International Moot Court Team.
Christina has a diverse experience in the agriculture industry. She grew up in a rural town, where she participated in FFA for all 4 years of high school. She was chapter Secretary for her high school, showed lambs at the local county fair, attended conferences, received her State Degree and won two state championships in horticulture and agronomy. Christina then went on to Nationals for horticulture and agronomy. Her family was also in the dairy industry. She received her bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness and completed internships at a regional fair and a landscape company. Christina also directed and organized the FFA State Finals competition for agronomy and competed in the National Collegiate Landscape Competition. She continued to stay involved in the agriculture industry in law school, where she interned in the in-house departments at Vermeer Corporation and Michigan Farm Bureau.
In addition to her law practice, Christina is active in her community. She is a part of the Young Leaders program in the Stephenson County Farm Bureau. Christina also participates in various events with the Stephenson County Farm Bureau. She has been a delegate at the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting for the past three years. Christina is also on the Board of Directors for Kiwanis and serves on its Youth Services Committee. Additionally, Christina is the Entertainment and Rest Tent Chairman for the Stephenson County Fair Association. She is also a member of the Stephenson and Winnebago County Bar Associations and the Illinois State Bar Association.
Christina formerly served as Treasurer of the Stephenson County Bar Association and is currently serving as Secretary of the Stephenson County Bar Association.
Ms. Willman looks forward to serving new and existing clients in her new capacity as shareholder. She and her fiancé, Adam Weller, are proud to call northwest Illinois home.
FOID CARD CHANGES GUN OWNERS SHOULD KNOW
There are 2.2 million individuals in Illinois who have a Firearm Owners Identification card (“FOID”). Individuals who have a FOID card or concealed carry license should be aware of the changes to the procedures and the upcoming changes to the rules relating to FOID cards and firearm ownership, which are discussed below. A valid FOID card is needed for any individual in Illinois to purchase or possess a firearm or ammunition. FOID cards are valid for up to 10 years unless the FOID card is revoked for certain offenses. A Concealed Carry License (“CCL”) is a license that allows individuals to carry a concealed handgun in public. A FOID card is still required for any person applying for a CCL. An individual who applies for both a CCL and FOID are issued two separate cards.
The Illinois legislature made several changes to various laws that affect individuals holding FOID cards and CCLs. Some of the changes were effective January 1, 2022, and others will be effective January 1, 2023, or January 1, 2024. Beginning January 1, 2022, the Illinois State Police (“ISP”) can create one card for individuals who qualify for both a FOID card and a CCL. If a FOID card expires during the term of a CCL, the FOID card will be automatically renewed without paying a renewal fee, and the card owner will be sent a new combined card. The ISP is still drafting additional rules for the combined card, so there will be more guidance and information soon. In addition, the ISP was given authority to develop a system where an individual can show an electronic version of his or her FOID card using his or her phone. The system has not yet been developed, but an electronic version may soon be available instead of having to display the physical card.
Also, effective January 1, 2022, the ISP is required to create a public database of all firearms that have been stolen. Individuals should ensure prior to any sale or transfer that the firearm has not been stolen. The system is required to be available for use by July 1, 2022.
Another provision enacted in 2021 states that any person who receives a firearm from an unlicensed seller must provide a record of the transfer within 10 days to a federally licensed firearm dealer. For any person selling or transferring a firearm, he or she needs to keep a record of the transfer for 10 years. The transfer record must contain certain information, such as the date of the transfer, the date of the application (background check), the description, serial number or other information identifying the firearm, FOID card number, and any approval number or documentation from the ISP. If the transfer was not completed in Illinois, the record shall contain the name and address of the transferee.
Beginning January 1, 2023, the ISP will have a process for automatic renewal of a FOID card. To use this process, the individual will have to have his or her fingerprints on file. Currently, individuals with a FOID card are not required to have fingerprints on file. The new provision still would not require fingerprints of an individual with a FOID card unless that individual wants to participate in the automatic renewal process.
Beginning January 1, 2024, person-to-person firearm transfers will require the individual selling or transferring a firearm to contact a federal firearm license dealer to conduct the transfer or contact the Illinois State Police using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”). There will be rules and regulations relating to this change published before January 1, 2024. Individuals who are selling or transferring a firearm should be aware of the new process and all of the rules surrounding the process to avoid any penalties that will be imposed for violations.
A complete discussion of FOID card rules and regulations is outside the scope this article. An attorney can help answer questions regarding the new changes or assist in matters involving FOID cards.
NEW CHANGES THAT POSITIVELY AFFECT THE AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY
The agriculture industry is greatly important not only to the state of Illinois, but to our Northwest region. The agriculture industry has a significant effect on the local economy, jobs in the region, and other industries. Expanding agriculture education and supply chains for producers will positively affect the agriculture industry statewide.
The Illinois legislature passed several bills in 2021 that affected the agriculture industry. One of the bills passed was the Home-to-Market Act, which increases avenues for various farmers and other food entrepreneurs to sell their products directly to consumers. The Home-to-Market Act applies to cottage foods, which are described as “foods prepared and packaged in a home-kitchen for sale at farmers markets.” Examples include jams, jellies, baked goods, pickles, hot sauces, salsas, canned tomatoes, and other artisan and pre-made foods.
Before the Home-to-Market Act was passed, cottage food producers could only sell their products at seasonal farmers markets. The Home-to-Market Act now allows cottage food producers to sell products at fairs and festivals, from their homes, online, and through home delivery. This allows cottage food producers several new avenues to sell their products directly to consumers. The Act also adds buttercream icing to the list of products that can be made in a home kitchen, which allows home bakers to sell their cakes, cupcakes, and other in-demand baked goods from the expanded points of sale available.
However, there are still limitations on cottage food producers, such as the inability to sell their products to restaurants, grocery stores, or distributors. In addition, the Act does not allow for on-site preparation of foods or catering. This means the products must be prepared and packaged in the home kitchen. Cottage food producers should be aware of the food safety provisions in the Act and other requirements that a producer may need to comply with to operate a home kitchen. Please consult your attorney to review any concerns with compliance with the requirements and food safety rules.
In addition to the Home-to-Market Act, the Illinois legislature amended the University of Illinois Act to allow agricultural science and agricultural education classes to count towards certain prerequisites to attend a university in Illinois. This amendment will allow more high school students to freely take agricultural classes because the high school students will not have to make a choice between taking an agricultural class and a class that he or she needed to attend a university in Illinois. The amendment states that a student can take laboratory sciences or agricultural sciences to fulfill the three years of science requirement. In addition, the student can also choose to take an agricultural education class as an elective for the 2 years of elective requirement in combination with or as an alternative to the traditional electives of foreign language, music, career and technical education, or art.
These changes to laws affecting the agriculture industry should have a positive effect on the local industry as well as the statewide industry. The Home-to-Market Act allows farmers or other food entrepreneurs more supply chain avenues to sell their products directly to his or her community. The changes to the University of Illinois Act will allow more high school students to take classes in agriculture and expand agricultural education in Illinois.
Elliott, Trainor & Willman, P.C. is excited to announce the addition of Abigayle Endress as a Summer Associate. Ms. Endress grew up in Pearl City, Illinois. She is a graduate of University of Illinois where she majored in Agricultural Leadership Education and Communications. She is currently attending Drake University Law School. Ms. Endress has completed internships at Compeer Financial, Stephenson County Farm Bureau, Illinois Department of Agriculture, and the Illinois Corn Growers Association. Our firm is excited about the addition of Abigayle, and she looks forward to working with both new and existing clients of the firm.
LAW NOTES is a publication of Elliott & Trainor, P.C., which is distributed free of charge to our clients and local business friends to provide news about developments in the law which may be of use. Nothing contained in this publication shall be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship with Elliott & Trainor, P.C., nor shall the content of this publication be considered as legal advice.