* Fox 32…
Illinoisans can begin applying next month for the state’s first-ever permits to carry concealed firearms. But the Cook County Sheriff complains to FOX 32 News that the system to screen those applicants is full of holes. Unless the system is fixed, Sheriff Tom Dart says he’s prepared to take extraordinary action to prevent permits from being granted to anyone with a serious arrest record.
FOX 32 has learned that Sheriff Dart sent a letter to the director of the Illinois State Police announcing his “blanket objection” to granting a concealed carry permit to anyone who’s been arrested even once in the last seven years for domestic violence, a gang-related crime or illegal gun possession. Even if they haven’t been convicted, Dart says, those charges are “red flags” that need to be pursued. […]
“I gotta imagine we’ll be objecting to hundreds, easily thousands of people,” Dart told FOX 32’s Mike Flannery. “What we’re gonna have is this massive influx of the applications. And they’re gonna be given out. And we’re just left holding the bag when the inevitable bad thing will happen. It happens in other states. And in other states they also have people who are armed who stop crimes. It happens both ways, I understand that. But when the inevitable bad thing happens, people will say, ‘Why wasn’t this person caught?’”
The law sets up a concealed carry board that is supposed to act on local police objections within 90 days. Dart will be jamming that system for sure.
The NRA’s Todd Vandermyde said that Dart’s intention to object to absolutely everyone with a prior gun arrest doesn’t make sense since the state’s public carry laws were declared unconstitutional.
Sheriff Dart’s letter to the State Police is here.
Suburban police say it’s a frequent scenario: They’re called to respond to a tense situation at a house and don’t know if anyone inside is licensed to own a gun.
Bloomingdale Police Officer Levi McGhee warns a driver about speeding. McGhee, like many officers, believes having better access to FOID information would make police safer during such stops.
That information is held by the Illinois State Police, but the list of the state’s 1.6 million Firearm Owner Identification cardholders isn’t shared with local police.
Police often don’t have that clue to whether a gun might be in the house until the encounter is nearly over. Only after they’ve got a person’s name can they check it against the state’s list.
Some police officials say that’s a key shortcoming of the state law. They would prefer to have that information available ahead of traffic stops and calls to quell domestic disputes.