The Illinois State Police announced last week that 5,000 Concealed Carry Licenses (CCLs) have been printed and mailed to gun owners in the state. It is the first round of CCLs to ever be issued to Illinois residents, where state lawmakers passed a bill allowing concealed carry last July.
Since then, State Police received more than 50,000 applications from interested gun owners. The first applications were accepted in January and after rejecting 300 and putting an additional 800 under review, the State Police moved to issue the licenses.
“I didn’t think they were gonna get them out in 90 days,” Reverend Eric Hansen told WICS.
Hansen was one of the first to be approved and received his license in the mail this week. He says he purchased a handgun for self-defense and is glad that the State Police moved so fast with his application. Local law enforcement, county sheriffs, and state’s attorneys also have the right to review applications after approval by the Illinois State Police.
“Right now it’s not very time-consuming for us,” said Undersheriff Jack Campbell of the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s just a matter of going through the applications and making sure that nobody kind of slips through the cracks, that shouldn’t have a permit.”
For many years Illinois was the only state in the country to ban any form of concealed carry. It is a stance that changed recently after a federal appeals court ruled the ban as unconstitutional in 2012.
To some, Illinois gun laws may seem confusing and even labyrinthine. The Chicago Tribune reported that there are classes offered throughout the state to help gun owners understand the legality of carrying a concealed weapon. Before a gun owner can apply for a CCL, they must first hold a Firearms Owners Identification Card (FOID), successfully complete 16 hours of firearms training, and meet legal qualifications.
Each license is approximately three by two inches and holds an ISP security hologram in the middle.