With the much-anticipated opening date for applications for Illinois' Concealed Carry License (CCL) approaching, the Illinois State Police announced this week several steps toward the implementation of the application process have been taken. Illinois lawmakers from both sides of the aisle easily overrode Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's veto on July 9, making the heartland state the 50th to enact a measure permitting concealed carry of firearms for personal protection by law-abiding citizens.
Under the new law, the Illinois State Police (ISP) was the agency entrusted to administer the licensing program and create the apparatus to handle the estimated 300,000 applications anticipated for issuance of the state's historic first "shall issue" permits. Earlier this week, the agency announced it would open the Firearm Concealed Carry Act application process to Certified Firearms Instructors, permitting them access to apply for their CCL beginning Wednesday, Dec. 18 in advance of the January 5, 2014, deadline.
A Dec. 17 agency press release explained the early access to the application process would provide applicants the opportunity to obtain their license and test the application system. With nearly 2,000 Certified Firearms Instructors currently listed on the ISP Concealed Carry website, officials anticipate instructor applications will serve as an adequate trial run for the system's workload capacities. And earlier this month, the agency launched its CCL website to provide residents with information to assist with permit eligibility requirements, application fees, training requirements, official forms, information for firearms instructors and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
A feature contained within the website includes information on how to access and obtain an Illinois Digital Identification (Digital ID) and electronic fingerprinting prior to Jan. 5. While fingerprints are not required for the CCL application,the required background checks will be expedited for those individuals who submit fingerprints, according to the ISP. Applicants may obtain their Digital ID through the State of Illinois Department of Central Management Services website (CMS), which they will need when the electronic CCL application becomes available Jan. 5. The electronic CCL application will require an electronic signature prior to submission.
The CCL website also includes a list of more than 60 licensed Live Scan vendors across the state and their multiple locations. Applicants will receive a transaction control number (TCN) from the licensed Live Scan vendor at the time of fingerprinting and will be required retain that TCN to complete the application.