What is a Firearms Permit?
There are a handful of States today that do not require a permit to own or carry a firearm. Some states allow open carry while others only permit Concealed Carry. Illinois is one of the most restrictive states. Also holding the dubious honor of being the last state that permitted people to arm and defend themselves. With cries of , “The street will be like Wild West” from many of our politicians, we trudged forward into “Uncharted” territory in our great state. I was one of the first group, just behind the instructors to obtain my permit. I have carried every day since.
The Firearms Permit process in Illinois is a bit complicated to say the least, costly also comes to mind. There was much Hullabaloo over “internet access only” to the permit application process from various media and pro gun groups, but what never addressed was the total cost incurred during a persons application process. “Internet Only” was said to eliminate lower income people who do not own or have access to a computer. I do not deny that allegation. What does bother me is that the overall cost of the application is incredibly expensive compared to other states. If A person cannot access a computer in this day and age, how on earth are they going to be able to afford the cost of obtaining a permit ? I have and maintain a Utah Concealed Carry permit. It cost around $50 dollars for a five year period. Including their background check. Seems like a reasonable amount for an every day man. The following is a list of the costs I paid to obtain my Concealed Carry permit in Illinois;
State mandated class…………….. $150.00 ( I was given credit for 8 hours for previous training)
Shooting range fee………………..$ 25.00
Electronic fingerprints……………$ 60.00
State Application fee……………..$ 150.00
State FOID card…………………..$ 10.00
Grand total (with credit) $ 395.00
To me, that seems extremely more restrictive than having access to a computer. I believe “The Big Picture” was missed by our politicians on this one! Somehow it seems that “Lower Income” folks will find it much harder to exercise their RIGHT due to money rather than internet access. The State now has introduced a paper process to obtain a permit, so all is good in our State!
Once all of the required information and fingerprints have been submitted to the state, as well as the $150.00 dollar fee, the wait begins as your background is checked. State Federal and local Law Enforcement agencies are notified of your application. Each body has 30 days to investigate and approve, by no comment, or protest your application. If one of the agencies protests, your application goes to a specially formed review board for a final decision as to whether or not you will be issued a permit.
As of the writing of this article, an individual is not allowed to be at that hearing….go figure. Total elapsed time is mandated at 90 days by the State. I received mine in a little over 60. I must give credit to our State Police. They were very proactive in being prepared for this process and had their website up and running properly with very few glitches reported. There is even a portal on the State’s website to check the status of your application, a portal that I must admit that I checked almost every day! Happiness happened about 3 days before it showed up in the mail, with an “Approved” status appearing in the all important window.
Pay special attention to all the details, proper size photo, copy of your FOID card, electronic fingerprint attachment and most importantly payment. All your information must match! If there is a misspelling or a number off, your application will be denied on those grounds and you have to start the process all over again.
Despite the costs involved, I found it important to exercise my Second Amendment Rights in a state that had denied them since my birth. Good luck and prepare!