First 5,000 concealed carry licenses being mailed out

Written By BY STEFANO ESPOSITO Staff Reporter Posted: 04/02/2014, 06:09am
Array Illinois State Police Colonel Marc Maton announced 5000 Concealed Carry License applications have been approved and are ready to be printed and mailed. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Illinois’ first concealed carry licenses were being sent out Friday and could arrive in mailboxes as early as Monday, Illinois State Police officials said.

That’s 5,000 approved applications out of some 46,000 received statewide, officials said Friday.

“We’re going to print as many as we can get through today and continue on Monday,” said Illinois State Police Col. Marc Maton, speaking to reporters downtown.

The blue-and-red licenses — about the same size as a driver’s license — are good for five years.

All approved applicants passed both criminal background and mental health checks, Maton said.

State police have so far rejected some 300 applications from people who are prohibited by statute from having one of the new cards, including, for example, people who have two or more DUIs or a domestic violence arrest within the last five years, Maton said. Another 2,800 applicants submitted either incomplete or inaccurate information, and officials are delaying approval until they can check out that information, Maton said.

Authorities have previously estimated 350,000 to 400,000 people will sign up for permits to carry their handguns in public within the first year of the law’s passing — close to 1,000 people a day, although currently new applications are running about 400 a day.

“We just don’t know how it will look as we get into the summer months,” Maton said.

Illinois is the last state to allow concealed carry. Legislators passed the law last summer after a federal appeals court ruled the state ban unconstitutional.

“We think it’s one of the strictest (concealed carry laws) in the country,” said state Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, one of the sponsors of the concealed carry legislation. “We believe it’s going to work,”

Contributing: Elise Dismer

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