Illinois residents are applying for permits to carry concealed weapons at a rate of more than 1,000 a day - leaving local police agencies worried they won't be able to identify applicants with a history of violence.
Illinois law gives the State Police 120 days to investigate applications and issue permits. But at the beginning of the process, the law gives local police agencies 30 days to do their own investigations and ask a state panel to deny a request.
State Police officials say their checks are thorough enough to prevent unqualified applicants from slipping through the cracks.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has allocated $33 million to set up a program designed to regulate the carrying of concealed firearms.
Lawmakers voted 96-17 for the $50 million supplemental appropriation Tuesday. Rep. Luis Arroyo - a Chicago Democrat - says about $500,000 is new general-revenue spending.
The legislation gives the Illinois State Police authority to use money from $150 concealed-carry permit fees to pay for the additional staff and equipment necessary to set up the program.
Lawmakers approved concealed carry last summer after a federal appeals court said Illinois' last-in-the-nation ban was unconstitutional.
Several complained the measure does not include $112 million a court has ordered be paid to union workers who didn't get their full raise in 2011.
As the Illinois State Police get ready to begin issuing concealed weapons permits, they're letting residents know more about the requirements of the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act.
Concealed carry license applicants must successfully complete 16 hours of firearms training, including classroom and range instruction. So the ISP website now includes a list of approved concealed carry firearms training curricula. The website also provides an updated list of qualified instructors.
Concealed carry license applications will be available by January 5, 2014.
More information can be found at the ISP's firearms ccw website.
A congressional staffer won't face any charges after leaving his loaded handgun in a mens' room at the Missouri Capitol.
Police say the gun belongs to 64 year old David Evans, legislative assistant to House Speaker Tim Jones. And Evans has a conceal-carry permit.
Capitol Police say the Kahr CM9 9mm pistol was in a holster and had a hollow point bullet in the chamber, along with six others in the magazine. It was found Friday morning on top of a toilet paper dispenser in a restroom near a House hearing room.
Police say no charges will be filed because Evans didn't break any laws. State law allows Missouri lawmakers and their staff to carry concealed weapons in the Capitol, as long as they have a permit.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Lawmakers are set to meet in Springfield to consider a bill allowing the concealed carry of weapons in public on the day of a court-mandated deadline to pass such legislation.
Gov. Pat Quinn has asked for sweeping changes to a concealed carry bill, but lawmakers have been less than enthusiastic, so far, and are expected to override his changes.
Quinn wants an ammunition limit and to prohibit guns in any place that serves alcohol, among other provisions. He has backed his changes by focusing on violence in Chicago.
But several lawmakers say Quinn proposed changes come too late in the process.
Illinois is the only state without a law to allowed concealed carry. A federal appeals court ruled the state's ban unconstitutional and set a Tuesday deadline to allow it.
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Concealed carry legislation is pending before the Illinois governor but the state's attorney in Madison County says citizens can start carrying weapons immediately.
Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons said Thursday that "it serves no just purpose" to deny citizens the ability to carry weapons. The Illinois Legislature passed concealed-carry legislation during its recent session under order by a federal appeals court, which ruled the state's ban unconstitutional. That legislation is awaiting action by Gov. Pat Quinn, who hasn't said if he will sign it or not.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Gibbons says people can carry a concealed weapon in his county as long as they meet seven requirements. Those requirements include possessing a valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card. Citizens also must be carrying the weapon for self-defense.
SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) — The Illinois attorney general's office says the federal appellate court has given the state an extra 30 days to lift its ban on concealed weapons.
The court on Tuesday granted Attorney General Lisa Madigan's request to allow Gov. Pat Quinn more time to review legislation passed last week.
However, on issuing its ruling, the court said it would not issue another extension of its mandate past the new deadline of July 9.
Illinois was the last state in the union banning the concealed carrying of guns when, in December, the court struck down the ban. The court gave lawmakers until June 8 to legalize the concealed carry of firearms.
Madigan said the Sunday date would have shortened the time set in the state constitution to allow Quinn to review legislation.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House is expected to vote Friday on legislation allowing public possession of concealed guns. The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee Thursday. It was a compromise backed by Speaker Michael Madigan.
The measure was endorsed Thursday 13-3 and goes to the full House Friday. It comes two weeks before a June 9 deadline set by a federal appeals court for Illinois to abandon its prohibition on the public possession of weapons.
The legislation would require the Illinois State Police to issue concealed carry permits to qualified gun owners. It's patterned on a bill introduced by gun-rights advocate Rep. Brandon Phelps, a southern Illinois Democrat.
But Madigan's version significantly adds places that would be off limits to guns. Those include mass transit - a must for violence-weary Chicago Democrats.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Republican lawmakers are raising new questions about whether Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's administration has tried to comply with the federal Real ID Act.
Senators on Wednesday released a copy of a form letter sent in March 2010 by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to Nixon thanking him for his efforts to comply with Real ID.
Nixon signed a 2009 state law prohibiting Missouri from taking steps intended to comply with the goals of the 2005 federal identity law, which sets stringent requirements for photo identification cards.
Nixon has previously denied that Missouri is trying to implement Real ID. His administration reasserted Wednesday that it's not complying with Real ID and said the letter is meaningless. It distributed similar form letters sent to governors in several other states.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is holding fast to his position that legislation calling for the carrying of concealed weapons should allow city governments to decide their own standards.
But the Democratic governor's preference goes against lawmakers, who have given such ideas a chilly reception.
The General Assembly has until June 9 to end Illinois' last-in-the-nation ban on concealed carry because of a federal appeals court ruling.
Quinn wants larger cities such as Chicago to be able to set up their own standards for gun-toting citizens.
Gun-rights advocates say that would create a confusing "patchwork" of laws and put gun owners in jeopardy.
A plan in the Senate would give Chicago-area police the ability to deny gun permits. Gun owners and Republicans are cool to the idea.