State police receive 30 local applications for concealed-carry licenses

Ciara McCarthy, City Editor

About 30 Evanston residents have applied for licenses to carry concealed weapons since Jan. 5, when the Illinois State Police began accepting applications, police said.

State police have been flooded with concealed carry applications and have received more than 11,000 as of last week. Legal gun owners in Illinois can apply for a concealed carry license, which requires a review board’s approval. Local law enforcement officials, which include the Evanston Police Department, have 30 days to review applications and file grievances after people have applied. Two EPD staff members will monitor the applications and perform preliminary internal records checks, police said. EPD Cmdr. Jay Parrott said the staffers will review all applicants with an Evanston address. The review board will consider objections from local law enforcement when they grant licenses.

Illinois became the last state in the country to legalize “concealed carry” in July, allowing residents to carry hidden firearms in public places. The legislative journey to pass the law was a contentious but inevitable one after a lawsuit required the state to draft the legislation. The state’s Firearm Concealed Carry Act launched additional controversy in Evanston, when the City Council took advantage of a provision that enabled local municipalities to prohibit assault weapons.

The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, a local gun safety non-profit, is creating programs to educate citizens and municipalities about the implications of the law and their rights now that licenses will be granted. Executive director Colleen Daley said the organization is going to unveil a website and citizen handbook next week, both of which will equip residents with knowledge about the law.

“Our programs will cover what the new law looks like and how it affects [citizens],” she said.

In addition, representatives from ICHV have been working with the Evanston community leaders to create local programming. Daley said specifics of the city programs are still being determined, but time will definitely be devoted to educating business owners about the law. Although the law prohibits concealed carry in public spaces such as parks, schools and bars, it requires owners of private property and businesses to post their own signs if they don’t want persons with concealed weapons on their premises.

“We’re making efforts to talk to business owners and make sure they’re aware of their rights as far as allowing individuals to carry or not carry on their property,” Daley said.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @mccarthy_ciara