Thousands of people across Illinois are expected to apply for concealed-carry gun permits Sunday when state police begin processing online applications for the first time.
CHAMPAIGN — Thousands of people across Illinois are expected to apply for concealed-carry gun permits Sunday when state police begin processing online applications for the first time.
Police anticipate receiving about 400,000 applications a little more than one year after the state's long-time ban on concealed carry was struck down by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
During a news conference Monday in Chicago, state police demonstrated the online application process, which goes live in five days. They expect the online process to take 10 minutes if applicants have all the required information.
"I think there will be a rush immediately from people who are prepared, who got their training out of the way, fingerprints and background checks," said Vermilion County Sheriff Pat Hartshorn, who attended Monday's media event, representing the Illinois Sheriff's Association. Hartshorn said the site has already been tested — by concealed-carry course instructors applying for their permits.
Josh Young of Savoy is a certified instructor with Trinity Defense Tactics. He said the online application process itself took him about 10 minutes or less.
But prior to that, he had to make sure his computer was compatible — some systems may require software downloads — in addition to acquiring digital identification, which added another five minutes.
The digital ID establishes a user name and password for each applicant, allowing that person to access multiple systems within state government — including the concealed-carry application — and digitally sign documents.
Young said he was well-aware of what information he needed in order to apply. He already had his course certificate scanned and saved to his computer, as well as a photo of himself, both of which were easily attached to his online application.
"I didn't have any problems," said Young, who believes it's a good online process but wonders whether it will handle the onslaught of applicants it's likely to get next week.
Young has been encouraging students in his concealed-carry courses to follow his lead — getting everything prepared in advance and even completing as much of the online application as possible before Sunday.
But the state still needs to provide a paper application process, he said, pointing out that several of his students either don't have a computer or Internet access.
Hartshorn said electronic applications will be processed quicker and cannot be submitted with mistakes or missing information. If an applicant has mistakes or omissions, he said, it will be pointed out immediately in the online process.
Concealed-carry permit checklist
So, you're at least 21 years old, have a clean record and want to apply to carry a concealed firearm. Here's a checklist to complete before visiting www.ccl4illinois.com  to fill out an application:
— A valid driver's license or state identification number.
— A firearm owner's identification card.
— A head-and-shoulders digital photo taken in the last 30 days.
— Addresses of every place you've lived for 10 years.
— Proof you've undergone 16 hours of firearms training with an Illinois State Police-licensed instructor.
— Fingerprints, which may be submitted electronically to expedite the process.
— $150 payable by credit card or electronic check.