There’s a precious little that’s been happening in Illinois with regard to our new Firearms Concealed Carry Act.
At this point, we believe it’s time for Illinois gun owners to begin contacting their state representatives and senators to begin the process of putting pressure on the Illinois State Police to get moving on this process.
Where are we at?
The ISP was duty-bound to begin approving instructors by September 7th. A few days before that, they released a procedure for instructors to be approved. No, it wasn’t easy. First, instructors have to find an approved Live Scan fingerprint vendor and in most counties in the state, there are no Live Scan vendors.
I paid $75 to get printed, but I didn’t blame the company that did my prints and I’ll tell you why: Because some guy had called me this summer trying to sell me on becoming a Live Scan vendor. The price? $8000 for the machine, $1000 to enroll and $50 for every set of prints I submitted. What a bargain. I should have gotten two machines for that price, right?
After submitting the prints, instructors are issued a unique number and are required to send some documents in to the ISP in addition to submitting an online application for approval.
Rumor has it the ISP has close to a thousand instructors’ applications for approval sitting in their office. It might be close to twice that now, actually.
As of right now, they’ve approved 23 instructors. That’s not even two per day.
What’s the hold up?
Allegedly there’s a computer problem.
The computer software they’ve been using to run FOID cards is something that was taught when I was in college back in the late 1980s. It might as well be in “BASIC”.
They are having problems with the software, or so it’s been explained to Todd Vandermyde and that’s slowing things down.
As for approving classes, no classes have been approved. The story is that they won’t even have a team come in to approve class applications for weeks. So, if it happens before the first snowfall, you can be pleasantly surprised.
Further compounding the issue (and causing some confusion for those outside this process) is the 23 instructors currently approved are dead in the water as there are no approved classes they can teach. (Translation: There’s no real need to blow their phones up calling them. There’s nothing they can do for you until there’s a class they can teach – and it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen until closer to the end of the year – at best.)
Meanwhile, a whole bunch of would-be instructors, some who have never taught a class in their life, are in the training forum at IllinoisCarry denigrating one another over policies, proposed fees, marketing and more. Some members (some as instructors, some not) are accusing others of being a rip off, falsely advertising or personally attacking others there. The moderators there have killed a number of the worst posts, but it’s still a far cry from harmony and teamwork. You can google the Illinois Carry training forum if you want to read the drama.
Rest assured, the State Police has been catching pressure from regular Joe Sixpacks, politicians and Todd Vandermyde, the NRA ILA’s guy in Illinois. He posted about where things are at on talks he’s had with the State Police over at IllinoisCarry.com.
The State Police are less talkative these days as are most people in the administration. What has become clear is that they didn’t want to be responsible for implementing the carry law.
Matter of fact, they wasted 30 days trying to get IDPR to take over the process, but finally realized that that was not going to happen. But the current process underscores how they are not prepared to handle this. And they seem to have made matters more complicated.
I am told the emergency rules will be in effect for a while, and they can’t be amended. They have to be replaced with the final rules to be proposed. Which leads to questions about how we are going to do things in the interim since they put mandatory minimums on training hours and such.
During all this, I have been sending in emails and comments about the proposals. Some they listened to, some they didn’t. It has become clear that their legal department is the largest impediment that we have to any sort of an orderly and simple process.
He also send them a list of complaints and comments for their response. He got answers to some. Here is an example:
Mandatory minimum training hours. As covered before, the mandatory minimums seem designed to eliminate NRA courses from the 16 hour eligibility. In preparing their curriculum, many had planned to teach either an NRA basic pistol course or Personal Protection In the Home (PPIH) or Personal Protection Outside the Home (PPOH) for the first 8 hours. Then teach the supplemental 8 hour program. NRA courses do not line up with the mandatory time requirements in the emergency rules. Thus, instructors will be required to develop from scratch a 16 hour course. And thus absorb all the liability for such.
**UPDATE: Looks like mandatory minimums are going away and will become guidelines or recommendations. And NRA courses listed above will count towards the 8 hours.
Well, that’s good news. There’s no doubt Illinois residents would appreciate getting a nationally-recognized NRA Personal Protection in the Home certificate in addition to their Illinois-approved training certificate. That NRA certificate will come in handy if these people want to later apply for a Florida or Arizona carry permit.
Why are things so screwed up at the ISP? Todd sums it up:
Because they didn’t want to involve us and show us draft rules, they kept stepping in a pile of crap cause they keep over thinking this stuff. They really are not prepared to handle the regulatory function. Currently, the instructor apps come in go through a check then get carried over to the Academy for sorting through the credentials. There were supposed to be running batch background checks at night, but that came to a screeching halt because they wanted things perfect. So that appears to be the slowdown in getting more instructors approved.
Like I said before they wanted this to go to IDPR after the law was passed and wasted 30 days just dickering with that. There are going to be growing pains with this and every time their legal department tries to over engineer or over think things we get foul up like the mandatory minimum time allotments.
I pointed out to them that they need to allow gun dealers to set up accounts with them so that when they do one stop shops for the permit applications, they can process the applications, and if there is a problem with one, they don’t dump the whole batch like they do with FOID cards, because they all came in on a single check. They were not even aware of this type of a problem and now have something else to look into. So I can only imagine that a lot of Tylenol and green bottles are going to be consumed as we try to get through this.
We at GunsSaveLife.com encourage everyone to call your Representative and Senator and ask them to turn up the heat on the Illinois State Police. Excuses are just that: excuses.
There is no doubt if there was a desire in Illinois government for this process to start in earnest, instructor approvals would be coming dozens per day, course approvals coming nearly as quickly and actual carry permits could be in the mail in a matter of days, not weeks or months.
We’re dealing with institutionalized opposition to right-to-carry and short of a court order allowing for FOID-card carry until the State Police are issuing permits as they are submitted, it seems nothing aside from political pressure from politicians is going to get this process moving.