Although Illinois lawmakers legalized concealed carry this week under orders from a federal court, it will be as long as nine months before gun owners can legally carry there, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The law allows an implementation period of as much as six months, with another three months maximum for individual permits to be approved. The Illinois State Police will use that time to set up a licensing apparatus to handle the anticipated 300,000 applications from Illinois residents alone. Setting up that system is expected to cost $25 million and require 60 new jobs.
The department also will start screening private entities to offer the unprecedented 16 hours of firearms training required under the new law. The governor and state Senate will have to agree upon a seven-member review board to screen concealed-carry applicants. Meanwhile, concealed carry remains, for the moment, technically illegal in Illinois. It's a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison. “Today no one can lawfully carry a concealed weapon” pending the implementation of a concealed-carry permit system, said Illinois State Police spokesperson Monique Bond. “The Illinois State Police will continue to enforce the law.”