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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.
Dozens of new laws take affect in Missouri today. Among them is the new carry conceal permit law, which shifts the process of issuing permits to county sheriff's departments and away from the state Department of Revenue.
Other new laws on the books today will hike the fines for passing or speeding in emergency zones on highways, allow drivers to show proof of insurance using their smartphones and tablets, and let cities decide if they want to allow ATVs on their streets.
There's a new law encouraging Missouri schools to teach first-graders the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program.
And another that requires scrap metal dealers to keep records of transactions involving catalytic converters.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House wants to block the scanning and computer storage of personal documents needed to get a driver's license or state identification card.
Legislation given initial approval 141-14 on Wednesday would bar the Revenue Department from scanning documents needed for driver's licenses or concealed weapons permits. Documents that have been scanned would need to be destroyed.
The bill needs another vote before moving to the Senate, where members have criticized the driver's license procedure.
Previously, license clerks looked at applicants' documents, took a photo and printed the license. Under the new system, licenses are printed and mailed by a contractor several days after people apply. Revenue Department officials have said the new procedure makes licenses more secure and saves money.
Some Missouri senators are pressing the state's driver's license agency to stop collecting documents from people with concealed gun permits.
But the head of the agency said Wednesday he's reluctant to halt the practice.
Since December, clerks in Missouri's local license offices have been making electronic copies of concealed weapons permits for a state database of driver's license applicants. Concealed gun endorsements are noted on driver's licenses.
Some Republican lawmakers have expressed concern about the document database. During a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Wednesday, Chairman Kurt Schaefer asked the Revenue Department to stop making and keeping copies of concealed gun permits.
Revenue Director Brian Long said he's unwilling to commit to that, because the scanned documents provide protection against fraud. But Long also said he will consider it further.