* The AP looks at concealed carry applications and the Cook County sheriff’s determination to weed out as many as he can…
In examining 2,000 of the first 5,000 applications, the department has flagged more than 120 that it will recommend Dart object to. The law allows objections for what it calls a “reasonable suspicion” that the applicants are dangerous even if their backgrounds would not automatically result in denials of their applications. Among those flagged by the Sheriff’s Department are a gang leader who has been arrested — though never convicted — a dozen times on aggravated battery with a dangerous weapon and other charges, and a man who was arrested but not convicted of domestic battery and endangering the life of a child. […]
In Cook County, Smith said “the numbers are so high” that to keep up, the 20-person unit assigned to investigate the applications would have to be tripled in size.
But state Rep. Brandon Phelps, a sponsor of the legislation, said 30 days is long enough for local law enforcement to submit objections to the state panel made up of former prosecutors, judges and others. He also says it isn’t necessary to provide additional funds since local law enforcement isn’t involved with issuing the permits.
Further, he and others said that because applicants have already passed background checks to obtain the state’s Firearm Owners Identification cards, the state could find itself in court if the panel upholds scores of local objections.