CHICAGO (CBS) – Anyone wanting to carry a concealed firearm in Illinois likely must wait until April before the first permits are issued, but State Police Director Hiram Grau assured gun owners his department is “way ahead of the game” in getting ready to approve the permits.
State lawmakers approved concealed carry legislation for Illinois in May, and it became law earlier this month, after the House and Senate overrode Gov. Pat Quinn’s amendatory veto.
The legislation gives Illinois State Police 180 days – or until Jan. 5, 2014 – to make concealed carry permit applications available to the public. Once applications are submitted, they have 90 days to review them, and approve or reject them.
“We’re way ahead of the game,” Grau said. “We created a committee when we heard it was going to start going into play, and so we’re going to be ready. We’ll be ready. There are several steps that we have to take, but we’re taking those steps.”
State Police will be ready to begin certifying instructors and training courses by Sept. 7, according to Grau. Concealed carry permits will cost $150 for a five-year license. Applicants must complete 16 hours of firearms training before getting a permit.
Grau was asked if having concealed carry now legal in Illinois would make it more or less difficult for police to do their jobs.
“Our officers are going to be trained as well,” Grau said. “We have laws that we have to enforce, and our people are ready. We’ll adjust; we’ll adjust as the public adjusts.”