Illinois: Local officers able to review concealed carry license applicants

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by Diana Zoga / News 4 | @DIANAZOGA

KMOV.com

Posted on December 31, 2013 at 7:54 PM

 (KMOV) --This week, Illinois State Police outlined the implementation of the new concealed carry law as the on-line applications begin on January 5.

In addition to a background check and review of Department of Human Services files, Illinois State Police will also make information about a recent concealed carry license application available local law enforcement agencies - giving officers a chance to object to a particular person’s application to carry a concealed handgun.

“What we’re looking for from those agencies is non-arrest data, things that would be in their internal record systems that may illustrate why the person should not carry a firearm,” said Colonel Marc Maton of the Illinois State Police during a demonstration of the application process on Monday.

ISP will make recent applications available to law enforcement in a searchable database, online.  Officers in local agencies can log on and review recent applicants and will have 30 days to file an objection.

The law states, “Any law enforcement agency may submit an objection to a license applicant based upon a reasonable suspicion that the applicant is a danger to himself or herself or others, or a threat to public safety.”

“The reason that’s put into the legislation is to give local communities input into who is getting this concealed carry permit,” said Shiloh, Illinois Police Chief Jim Stover.

He says there may be information ISP wants that won’t show up in a background check.

“A suicide threat.  If we handle that and the person, you know, we talk to them and they say o.k. I’m going in for an evaluation and they go in and then they walk away.  If we’ve handled that two or three times, that information needs to be brought to the attention of the concealed carry review board,” said Stover.

There’s no requirement that local law enforcement review CCL applications and Stover says his department does not plan to assign anyone to review applications on a regular basis.

“I don’t think it’s necessary for my part and, besides that, I don’t have the manpower to spend hours and hours going through a database just to see what citizens have got a concealed carry permit in the Village of Shiloh,” said Chief Stover.

He added that if a person passes a background check and meets the requirements set out by the Illinois State Police, he likely would not have an objection to someone getting a concealed carry permit.

Republican Representative Dwight Kay of the 112th district in Illinois said he’s concerned the additional review would cast a suspicious light on an applicant without hard evidence or record of an arrest.

“Why is this needed if, indeed, there are numerous background checks done at various levels?” said Kay.

He says additional review would be justified in cases in which a CCL is issued to a person who’s criminal or mental health status changed in the time since the license was issued, saying he wants to make sure the license doesn’t remain in the hands of the wrong people.

Any objections to a CCL, would be sent to the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board - which makes the decision to deny an application.  It’s a panel made up of seven people who are appointed by the governor.  Last week, Governor Pat Quinn appointed the first panel which includes former FBI agents and a professor of psychiatry.

The board would consider the objection and may request more information or even testimony from law enforcement and/or the person who is applying for the CCL. 

It would take a vote from at least four commissioners to deny an application.

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