Ill. State Police mail first 5,000 concealed carry permits - Dallas News |

Ill. State Police mail first 5,000 concealed carry permits

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(Illinois State Police) (Illinois State Police)
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Concealed carry is about to become a reality in our state. The first licenses allowing people to carry concealed guns were mailed out by Illinois State Police on Friday.

Gun owners and guns rights advocates had been taking aim at Illinois for years. It's one of the last states to ban the practice of concealed carry.

But after a federal court ordered the ban lifted in 2012, the day gun owners had been waiting for has arrived.

"We're going to print as many as we can get to today and continue on Monday," Illinois State Police's Col. Marc Maton said.

Members of the Illinois State Police and other agencies in charge of processing the applications showed the new concealed carry license on Friday - about the size of a driver's license.

About 5,000 of the cards were mailed out, which means those that receive them could be packing heat in public by this weekend.

"This is new to Illinois but not new to the country. We're the last state to do this," Ill. Rep. Brandon Phelps told FOX 32 News. "Other states already have a concealed carry process in their state, and not one of them have ever repealed their law. So we think this will work."

State police have received a total of 46,000 applications for the concealed carry cards so far. Of that number, 800 were opposed by law enforcement officials and another 300 rejected outright because of criminal convictions.

"Felony arrests, prohibitions that are based on the law," Maton said, explaining reasons for rejection. "Two or more DUI's, two or more drug offenses, a domestic violence arrest in the past five years."

The law also spells out a number of locations where concealed carry is prohibited, like schools, courthouses, hospitals, parks and stadiums.

State police said they are continuing to receive about 400 applications a day. They are processing them after a thorough criminal background check.

More than 10,000 applications have come from Cook County alone - the largest county in the state.

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