Implementation issues have been the main topic of news relating to Illinois’ new Firearms Concealed Carry Act. There are also a couple of potential mine fields to avoid for prospective licensees.
Illinois is going to require fingerprints for applicants seeking an Illinois concealed carry license, either in the form of “LiveScan” electronic fingerprints or the old-fashioned fingerprint cards.
The standard FBI fingerprint cards will add thirty days to the processing time.
The electronic LiveScan prints are a very pricey option, with the state’s handful of vendors charging $50-$75 for your prints. Getting LiveScan prints offers the advantage of putting the State of Illinois on a 90-day clock to process your application.
Some vendors have been offering to take LiveScan prints for weeks now, data-basing them hoping the State will accept them after the first of the year. Ordinarily, there is only a 30-day window in which LiveScan prints can be pulled from the server by the Illinois State Police.
If all goes as planned, these vendors claim their customers will be at the front of the line to get their carry permits when they eventually submit the prints. That is, of course, if the State doesn’t reject them.
It might be prudent to wait until late December or early January to get your LiveScan prints done to ensure they are accepted.
The Firearm Concealed Carry Act specifies that a recent photo must accompany applications. “Recent” as in within 30 days. Your high school yearbook photo isn’t going to fly.
Applications are set to be made available on the Illinois State Police Department website on January 5th. If the Department follows how they handled instructor applications, the applications may be available the last week of December or a few days early in January.
Check the ISP website regularly and we’ll not only post an update on the availability of the application, but we may make it available at GunsSaveLife.com in case the ISP’s web server crashes.
The Illinois State Police have expressed zero interest in pursuing unethical trainers.
In other words, it’s the Wild West.
If you’re going to spend hard-earned money, you might as well demand decent training.
How bad is it? We’ve heard of instructors:
- using laser training pistols as part of the “live-fire range exercises”.
- offering NRA Basic Pistol classes online, without even requiring a shooting component.
- counting airsoft pistol shooting in hotel conference rooms as live-fire range time.
- spending as little as a 20 minutes on the range when the law requires at least four hours of range time.
- concluding eight hour classes (starting at 9am) before 3pm.
We thought classes advertising fifty students taught by an instructor and an assistant were a little short-staffed until we read a report of one NRA Basic Pistol class was held with 300 people taught by a pair of instructors. 150:1 ratio of students to instructors. Awesome, huh?
Before you rush out and sign up with an instructor, double check that their course and their instructors are on the Illinois State Police’s approved lists. Call the instructor and inquire about the projected class size and number of instructors. Ask about the instructors credentials and how long he or she has been teaching.
Don’t settle for diploma mills. Your life is worth more than that.
UPDATE: An astute reader noted the ISP rules require “weapon handling” time, not live-fire time. We stand corrected.