SUNDAY NIGHT: Partly Cloudy. Low: 47. Winds: Southeast 5-10 mph.more »
Illinoisans Begin Receiving Concealed Carry Licenses
Concealed carry is no longer something that Illinois is preparing for. The first CCW licenses have been sent out, and some holders are already carrying their firearms in public.
Applications were first accepted in early January, and the Illinois State
Police had 90 days to reject or accept them. So the first round of licenses is being sent out a month early.
"I didn't think they were gonna get them out in 90 days," said Rev. Eric Hansen of the iWorship Center. "Some people's FOID cards were taking months and months, and the law says 90 days, but I thought it wasn't going to be until summer, but I got it, pretty happy about that."
Hansen is already putting his license to use. He tells us he's received death threats, and he wants to protect himself.
"I've talked to the police," said Hansen. "And they said, we can pretty much show up to your house after something happens, but we can't prevent anything, so from the policeman, 'you ought to consider getting a gun, Reverend,' is what they told me."
While many properties have posted signs banning concealed carry in their buildings, Hansen has no plans to put one on the door of the iWorship Center.
"I think it's a good idea, that good people have guns," said Hansen. "And you hope that most people that come to church are decent people, so I've got absolutely no issue with anybody carrying in church."
Local law enforcement have the right to review and challenge any application. So far, that's meant over 600 applicants for the Sangamon County Sheriff's office to check out.
"Right now it's not very time-consuming for us," said Undersheriff Jack Campbell. "It's just a matter of going through the applications and making sure that nobody kind of slips through the cracks, that shouldn't have a permit."
Campbell says so far, his agency hasn't challenged any application. So he believes the right people are getting the licenses.
"It's going to change things on a traffic stop though," said Campbell. "Whenever you ask somebody if they have a concealed carry permit and they say yes, it's going to be strange for law enforcement in all of Illinois to realize people now have a gun on their person, and it's legal for them to have it."
Reporting in Springfield, Mike Brooks, ABC NewsChannel 20.