With 11,000 residents and 56 applicants, percentage-wise Cumberland County has the highest number of concealed carry applicants in the state.
“I was not surprised by the figures,” said Dave Clark, owner of X-Ring Customs in Toledo. “We have helped a lot of people apply for concealed carry permits.”
Receiving his instructor’s permit last September, Clark has been busy helping people apply for their permit at his gun shop.
“The demand is going in line with what I expected,” he said.
He has been offering classes at his facility up to three times per week, with 16 people signed up for his Saturday class.
With concealed carry permit applications pouring into the state, local sheriff’s departments are gearing up to review the applications.
Effingham County Sheriff John Monnet hopes a meeting at the Illinois Sheriff’s Association Conference in early February will direct him as to how applications will be transferred to the sheriff’s department. Currently, he hasn’t received any applications for review.
“The state police are going to handle the main part of the process,” he said. “They want local sheriffs to look at the applications to see if there is a reason why someone should be denied.”
Sheriff’s departments throughout the state are tasked with weeding out applicants who might meet the state standards but have something in their backgrounds that could render their applications too risky to approve. The measure is meant to provide an extra safeguard, and Illinois State Police hopes local authorities will look at the applications, said ISP spokeswoman Monique Bond.
Monnet, who plans on reviewing applications, questions the extra work it will create.
“If a person already has a FOID (Firearm Owner Identification) card, they probably haven’t done wrong to keep them from getting their concealed carry,” he said, noting that a person needs a FOID card to apply for concealed carry. “I will eventually go over all of them, but it is going to be a long process.”
According to Bond, there is a 90- to 120-day grace period for the ISP to inform applicants if they have been denied permits.
Effingham State’s Attorney Bryan Kibler has said he will not prosecute anyone who waits the minimum application period of 30 days, but added counties in northern Illinois might not be as lenient.