It'll be months before Illinois residents can legally bring a weapon out in public, but there's information you can know now to prepare.
"The program will be set up by the State Police and so they will draft up the program and it won't be all that difficult because they'll just look at what the other 49 states have done, that'll give the rules of what will be taught in the class that you take and then what will be part of the application that you complete and send in." -says 35th District Senator Dave Syverson.
Lawmakers say you might not see those 16-hour classes or fill out a concealed carry permit application until Fall, but there's something you can get sooner than that; Firearms Owner's Identification, a FOID card. You can find that application by clicking here. If you're an Illinois resident, fill it out, put $10 in the envelope, send it off and wait. Usually getting a FOID card takes 30 days. State Police need time to conduct background checks. But, since so many people are applying it could take three months. Once you get your card, gun owners say put in plenty of practice at the range.
"The difference between the people who do carry a lot and shoot a lot is they're practicing several hours a week as it is and they're not just getting their carry permit, getting their 16 hours in and going to forget about it. With anything, you need to keep sharp, keep fresh and you can never have too much training." -says KAP Guns Owner Kenny Polhamus.
Illinois State Police say they've got dead aim on what concealed carry will cost to implement. No one from ISP will give an interview just yet, they say most information is too fluid right now. But, in an email, Chief of Communications Monique Bond explains ISP will create a Concealed Carry unit that looks to cost $25 million. 60 new employees, both sworn and civilian, will also be hired. Lawmakers are mixed on the reality of this multi-million dollar price tag.
"I don't understand that. We already do background checks for FOID, it's all computerized. This should be a profitable thing for the state, not a cost like they're trying to portray it." -Senator Syverson says.
34th District Senator Steve Stadelman says, "Obviously if you're a state agency, you want to make sure you're funded enough to implement this framework because it is quite extensive, so I think they just want to make sure they have enough money. Is it enough or is it too much? I think we'll find out more in the months ahead."
It's estimated that 300,000 people will sign up this year to carry concealed. Of course, not everyone will be allowed a permit.
"If a person has been arrested five or more times in the past seven years, or three or more times on gang-related charges that would make you ineligible to carry. You could be rejected for two or more convictions related to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or if you underwent residential treatment for substance abuse in the last five years." -Senator Stadelman explains.
Even though it's inevitable that someday, some people will be allowed to carry, there's still opposition to the new law. 67th District Representative Chuck Jefferson is part of that.
"I can just believe that it's going to encourage a lot of people to be a lot more forceful, whereas before if we have situations, we'd talk our way out of them, maybe have a fist fight and then afterwards we're both still standing we're both alive, but now with guns introduced and the fact that people will have guns on their person in the community, I think it's going to be a different situation." -he says.
Lawmakers say a concealed carry permit will cost $150. Permits from other states won't be accepted in Illinois.
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