Challenge to clear concealed-carry applications in 30-days

Published 01/15 2014 01:02PM

Updated 01/15 2014 01:06PM

SPRINGFIELD -- State leaders say the state is getting close to 1,000 new applications for concealed-carry permits each day, but that kind of workload has some people worried about processing delays. WCIA-3's Ashley Michels keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

It's only a problem depending on where in the state you live. Chicago police say the number of applications is overwhelming, but officials in Central Illinois say it won't be too big of a deal.

Gun owners across the state have been waiting years of Illinois to allow concealed-carry. Now that it's law, many of them want to be among the first to get the permit.

"I'd say, the first 30-days, they're going to be totally overwhelmed and swamped with applications."

Sangamon County Sheriff Neil Williamson is right. In the first week, roughly 16,000 applications rolled in. That's 16,000 applications and counting which local law enforcement have to sift through.

"We'll go online. We can go to a portal on the state police computer and look at the people that have applied and, we will try to vet out anyone that we know, that we feel, they're not suited to have a concealed-carry."

The problem is, they only have 30-days to approve or deny the applications and no extra funding to pay for overtime costs to do it. That's why some law enforcement agencies near Chicago worry they won't be able to keep up with demand. But, Williamson says his office and others like it should be able to absorb the influx.

"I think we'll see the bulk of these applications come in up front and they'll probably dwindle away as we get later on in the year, so most of the work will be up front and it may cost us, perhaps a little overtime up front, but I don't think it's going to be to the point where it's going to be overburdensome."

Once you turn in your application, state police are supposed to give you an answer whether you're approved or denied within 90-days. So, the first carriers should have their permits by March.

A new database could keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. The Department of Human Services says its new database system will give mental health professionals a tool for reporting patients who pose a danger to themselves or others. The information gets compared with the state police's list of FOID cardholders and firearm owners.

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