conc carry 022718SPRINGFIELD- Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago) believes Illinois’ concealed carry licensing process can be strengthened by including an additional step: an extra measure of security gained through requiring local law enforcement review.

“At a time when we are talking about preventing weapons from getting into the hands of someone who may be a risk to public safety, himself or others, I believe it is reasonable to close this loophole in the licensing process,” Silverstein said. “If local law enforcement knows of no reason to deny the license, the applicant will be approved and the process completed.”

Senate Bill 3298 would mean a local law enforcement agency or sheriff’s department, depending on the applicant’s residence, would have 30 days to review the application. If it is determined the applicant is unsuitable for a concealed carry license, the Illinois State Police will be notified. If the State Police receives no notification of objection, it will approve and issue the application. An applicant denied approval may petition the circuit court in his or her county for a hearing.

Because local law enforcement would be the most likely agency to have to respond to a shooting perpetrated by a CCL holder, Silverstein believes they should be part of the review process in advance of a license being issued. This can be one way to lessen the likelihood a potentially violent person can get and carry a weapon that could result in more incidents like the Parkland, Las Vegas or Newtown shootings.

“Aside from an arrest record, local law enforcement may know something about an applicant or be aware of behavior such as domestic violence calls without charges or affiliation with a gang which the State Police might have no knowledge of,” Silverstein said. “I believe it is fair to apply this practice statewide for an extra safeguard and to protect our communities all across Illinois.”

Senate Bill 3298 awaits assignment to a Senate committee for further action.

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