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Approved! Concealed Carry licenses

Sheriff reviews every applicant

Published: Friday, March 7, 2014 12:40 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, March 7, 2014 12:42 p.m. CDT

The first batch of Concealed Carry License applications has been approved and is ready to be printed and mailed in Illinois.

The Illinois State Police (ISP) has announced 5,000 Concealed Carry Licenses (CCL) have been approved so far. Since the process began, the ISP has received more than 50,000 applications and objected to more than 800. To date, no objection has been appealed.

On Thursday, Bureau County Sheriff John Thompson said every application from a Bureau County resident comes across his desk for a 30-day review period. If there are any objections, he could intervene and file his concerns with the state police. All law enforcement agencies have that right, he said.

As far as locally, Thompson said about 150 applications came across his desk during that first week. The average age of the Bureau County applicants was probably 60 years old. There were both male and female applicants. The oldest male applicant was 78 years old. The oldest female applicant was 76 years old.

Thompson said he had no objections to the applications he has received. These applicants are good people who just want to express their rights to carry a concealed weapon; they are our neighbors, the sheriff said.

The CCL training is very thorough with multiple pages on all the restrictions which go along with carrying a concealed weapon, including learning the sites where weapons cannot be carried, like school grounds, Thompson said. In addition, commercial places, like businesses, have the right to post a restriction on their own properties as well.

As he understands, the CCL is a five-year license, which will then have to be renewed.

As far as alleviating concerns from some residents about the CCL, Thompson said he’s comfortable with having the CCL program in place. The screening and training is thorough. There hasn’t been an increase in crime nationwide in those states allowing concealed weapons, but even a decrease in violent crimes in some areas, he said.

As listed on the ISP website, Bureau County’s seven approved concealed carry instructors are Tom Root, Sherman Brumley, Mark Credi, Rebecca Nielsen, Kemp Smith, Agraciado Irizarry and Leonard Racine Jr. Contact information on the instructors is available through the ISP website.

The CCL application requires the applicant to possess a valid Firearms Owner’s Identification card (FOID), or to apply for a FOID in conjunction with the CCL, to begin the application process. Background checks are simultaneously conducted by state police while local law enforcement agencies review the applications for objections.

Illinois is the 50th of the 50 states to pass concealed carry legislation.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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