Got CCW? Is your expiration date coming up soon?
The first of Illinois' concealed carry licenses will begin to expire in March 2019. Yesterday, I had a reporter from Springfield tell me that the Illinois State Police told her (you know how that goes…) that the "renew" button on the ISP's Firearms Services Bureau website will go active exactly five months ahead of each CCW holder's license expiring. Additionally, she reaffirmed what we had been told in recent months that renewals would be handled just as new applications.
Assuming that 5-month window is true and correct, it will give everyone thirty extra days so a 120-day renewal will get back to them in a timely manner.
Why the 120 days to renew? Well, our contacts have told us that the Illinois State Police have plans to treat the renewals just as new applications. Yes, that means 120 days to process without prints and 90 days with prints. Yes, like most cynical gun owners in this gun unfriendly state, I wouldn't be surprised if ISP wanted a new set of prints to save the 30 days. (Frankly, I'm inclined to spend the money for maternity clothes for the missus.) As though fingerprints change from five years ago when we applied initially, right?
Frankly, if the renewals really are handled like new applications, I'm just waiting for someone who has held a CCW to get an objection from an over-eager law enforcement agency. Cook County in particular – and Bloomington, IL PD also – have a reputation for a lot of questionable objections.
This morning, I called the Illinois State Police customer service line at the Firearms Services Bureau. After getting hung up on three times, I finally reached a customer service rep.
The woman there knew nothing about renewals, saying the process has not been finalized yet. I asked her for her boss' name and she gave me the Bureau Chief Jessica Trame but didn't have Trame's contact info. A google search gave me Ms. Trame's phone and email address in less than a minute. A minute after that, I spoke with Trame's assistant, who took a message for one of their senior folks to get back to me.
In either event, take a deep breath and relax. There's no urgency to get your 3-hour renewal "as soon as possible" as some CCW instructors have urged. Why do it now in the middle of summer when you can wait until September, October or November to do it in relative comfort? Oh, by the way, don't pay a fortune for that 3-hour renewal certification.
If you're paying more than $50, you're probably paying way too much unless Justice Gorsuch is teaching the legal end of it.
However, I would recommend attempting to apply for that CCW renewal right at that five month window or as soon as the ISP sends you a renewal notice, whichever comes first.
And I will update this space after the Illinois State Police returns my request for information on where they are at in this renewal procedure process.