The Illinois State Police have started the process of registering instructors and approving their courses for people wanting permits to carry concealed weapons.
State police made the applications available on the department’s website last week, just before the Sept. 6 deadline set by state law. Concealed-carry applications will be available to the public starting Jan. 5, according to the state police.
Lawmakers in the last days of the spring session May 31 hashed out a bill authorizing concealed carry in Illinois to comply with a 2012 federal court ruling striking down Illinois’ ban, the last of its kind in the union. The other 49 states have concealed-carry laws of varying strictness.
Illinois’ new law is among the more stringent. Applicants must pay a $150 fee – the fee is $300 for out-of-state residents – and must complete a 16-hour training course, the longest of any state. The course requirement is halved to eight hours for honorably discharged members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
A permit is good for five years, and renewing it requires taking a three-hour refresher course.
The new law forbids carrying in a number of locations, mandates increased mental health reporting requirements and allows local law enforcement to object to granting a license to anyone they feel is a danger to himself or others.
The class standards released by the state police include a minimum of two hours on firearm safety, three hours on basic marksmanship, three hours on care and handling of a concealable firearm, four hours on applicable state and federal laws, and four hours on weapons handling and live fire.
At least 300,000 people are expected by the state police to apply for concealed-carry permits in the first year.
Gov. Pat Quinn held onto the bill for a month before using his amendatory veto powers to rewrite it July 2, exactly one week before the state’s concealed-carry ban was set to expire under an extended court order. Lawmakers were forced to meet in special session July 9 and overrode Quinn’s veto hours before the deadline.
Had the deadline expired without a law in place, there would have been no law in place putting any limitations on carrying concealed weapons in public.
Concealed carry will not be allowed on mass transit, in schools and college campuses, government buildings and courthouses, parks, stadiums, hospitals and street festivals. It is allowed in restaurants and other businesses that serve alcohol only if alcohol makes up less than half of their total sales.
Businesses have the right to forbid concealed weapons from their premises if they post a sign banning them.
The bill allows permit holders to keep loaded weapons in a secured vehicle, meaning that they can be left there if going to one of the places where concealed carry is banned.
On the Net
Find the applications and the rules for registering as a concealed-carry firearms instructor at www.isp.state.il.us.
The Illinois State Police will begin accepting applications for concealed-carry permits Jan. 5.