On January 5, Illinois residents will be able to apply for a concealed handgun license.
The application process will be available on the state police website, and authorities say it is fast and easy to complete. The cost of the concealed carry license, which is valid for five years, is $150. Fees for associated required training courses and finger-printing vary.
State police say they aren’t sure how many residents will submit an application, but they estimate that it could be as many as 400,000.
The first concealed carry licenses are likely to be issued by the middle of January. Concealed carry is prohibited in some places, including government buildings, schools, hospitals, libraries, museums and public parks.
Critics say the law is confusing and at times, contradictory (you can’t carry a concealed weapon on mass transit, but you can carry an unloaded firearm in a backpack or other container on a train or bus, for example), but some lawmakers say Illinois has done what it needs to comply with the state Supreme Court:
“I think we’ve put together a comprehensive plan that will allow for the safe carrying, most training in the country,” state Rep. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley.
Downstate Democratic State Sen. Gary Forby, who was one of the drafters of the bill, says he thinks concealed carry will reduce crime:
“I think it will and I’m hoping it will. What I’m hearing in other states, it has done it. So I feel like, if it’s doing it in 49 other states, why wouldn’t it do it here?”
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Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”