Latin King leader wants to conceal and carry


Cook County Sheriff’s officials say they’ve filed an objection to a gang leader’s state application to carry a concealed firearm — and they’re opposing hundreds of other applications, too.

The high-ranking Latin Kings leader possesses a state firearm owner’s identification card, which allows him to own a gun. He got the card because he doesn’t have any felonies on his record, said authorities, who declined to name him.

Under the state’s concealed carry law that took effect this year, an individual must first have a firearm owner’s identification card to apply for a permit. Once an application is filed, local law enforcement agencies have 30 days to file objections with a state licensing board.

So far, sheriff’s officials have filed objections to about 180 applications and plan to object to about 180 more, said Cara Smith, executive director of the Cook County Correctional Center.

“It is exactly what the objection process was designed to allow. We are doing all we can to ensure that applicants with any history of violence or domestic violence are thoroughly reviewed by the concealed carry licensing board,” she said.

The Illinois State Police are required to object to applications by anyone with three or more gang-related arrests within seven years or anyone with five or more arrests of any type within seven years.

But other law enforcement agencies such as the sheriff’s office and local police can file objections any time they believe an applicant poses a public safety threat, Smith said.

About 25 sheriff’s employees have been conducting background checks of concealed carry applicants.

“Some are full-time on reviewing applications, others cycle through. But all of them spend at least a few hours every day working on this. It’s a huge lift,” sheriff’s spokesman Benjamin Breit said.

About 7,000 current Cook County residents and 1,200 former Cook County residents have submitted applications for concealed carry permits this year. Sheriff’s officials are reviewing the applications of anyone who has lived in Cook County over the past 10 years.

The sheriff’s screeners are looking for arrests involving gun crimes, gang-related crimes and violent crimes — as well as histories of domestic violence and mental illness.

About 60 applicants have had at least one arrest for domestic violence and about 60 have had at least one gun-related arrest.

The gang leader’s criminal background includes 12 arrests but no convictions, authorities said. The arrests include such charges as aggravated assault, burglary and failure to register a firearm. The sheriff’s office would not reveal the man’s name, age or where he lives, citing privacy concerns.

Another applicant was arrested 20 times over nine years for crimes that included resisting a peace officer and domestic battery. The man was found guilty of two misdemeanors, but such convictions don’t prevent someone from obtaining a firearm owner’s identification card.

So far, sheriff’s officials have not identified any applicants with a mental illness history that would disqualify them from getting a concealed carry permit, Smith said.

Sheriff’s officials are using their own jail records and a local arrest database to conduct their background checks. They’re banned from searching a broader national database called LEADS, which prompted Sheriff Tom Dart last month to say the screening system is “fraught with problems and holes.”

Gov. Pat Quinn has appointed a seven-member board that reviews objections to concealed carry permits. The board — which includes a former judge, two former prosecutors, three former FBI agents and a psychiatry professor — has 30 days to conduct each review and decide whether the permit should be issued.

Concealed Carry Applications Open For Illinois Instructors

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Certified firearms instructors in Illinois can now apply for concealed carry licenses.

The Illinois State Police say they opened to application process on Wednesday so instructors can apply in advance of the Jan. 5 deadline.

Illinois law says that certified instructors must be eligible for a concealed carry license. State police say giving them early access to the application process will also help test the application system.

There are almost 2,000 certified instructors listed on the agency’s concealed carry website.

Authorities say they expect the website will be used to process more than 400,000 applications next year.

Illinois lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year that made Illinois the last state in the United States to make it legal for residents to carry concealed weapons.


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OCC offering concealed carry training

Illinois Central College will offer concealed carry training beginning in January 2014. Completion of the course which includes both classroom and range instruction and training will qualify individuals for an Illinois concealed carry permit.

The 16-hour firearms training includes firearm safety, basic principles of marksmanship, care, cleaning, loading, and unloading of a concealable firearm, as well as state and federal laws related to firearms, and weapon handling and qualification. Classes will be held in Hickory Hall at the ICC North Campus, 5407 N. University, Peoria, and at an off-site range.

Classroom Dates                                                              Range Dates

5:30-9:30 p.m. Jan. 22-24                                          Monday, January 27*

9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Feb. 1-2                                          Monday, February 3*

5:30-9:30 p.m. Feb. 12-14                                         Monday, February 17*

9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. March 1-2                                       Monday, March 3*

9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. March 22-23                                   Monday, March 24*

5:30-9:30 p.m. April 9-11                                          Monday, April 14*

5:30-9:30 p.m. May 7-9                                            Monday, May 12*

*Range times will be from noon-4 p.m. or 5–9 p.m. on Mondays. Specific times will be assigned during class.

To be eligible for the class, you must have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card. Up to eight hours of already-completed, in-person training may be accepted toward the 16-hour training requirement for: NRA Basic Pistol (eight hours); NRA Personal Protection in the Home (eight hours); NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home (eight hours); and Active, Retired, or Honorably Discharged member of the U.S. Armed Forces (eight hours). Four-hour training credits and out-of-state permits will not be recognized.

Cost of the 16-hour course is $255 (eight-hours only is $120).

Registration is available online at or call (309) 690-6900.

Participants are NOT to bring firearms and ammunition to the ICC Campus. For information on the implementation of Concealed Carry in Illinois, visit the Illinois State Police website.

Read more:

Spots available for RLC concealed carry courses

INA — Rend Lake College will host Concealed Carry Firearms Training courses this spring, located on the Ina campus and new RLC Shooting Range.

The training courses are scheduled for Jan. 11 and 12, Feb. 8 and 9 and March 1 and 2. All courses will last from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days in RLC Coal Mine Training Center, Room 107 on the Ina campus and the RLC Range.

Day 1 focused on firearm safety, principles of marksmanship, loading and unloading, safety and cleaning and day two for live-fire qualification. Firearms are not allowed on campus for the first day of training and directions will be given to the shooting facility.

The cost of the class and qualification is $200. Registration and pre-payment is required. Applications for Illinois permits will be available beginning Jan. 5 and will cost $150.

Participants must bring a valid FOID card, a driver’s license, and a handgun and two boxes of unopened factory ammunition to the training session.

For more information, call 618-437-5321, ext. 1714 or visit

Concealed carry application process will begin soon

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ill. – Late Tuesday afternoon, Illinois State Police announced a paper concealed carry license application will hopefully be in place by July 1st. The state starts accepting applications online on January 5th. The online-only system has drawn heat from some lawmakers and members of the public, worried that not everyone in the state has access to a computer. Though open for one year, Harry Marshall said traffic at his Vienna, Illinois gun shop is booming, given Christmas and concealed carry. “Business has been up,” said Marshall. Marshall’s had a hand in getting 150 people through his classes, and he’s bracing for more as the application process opens in January. “We try to keep the classes fairly small, ten to fifteen people in the class,” he said. Marshall is hearing some complaints and worry from students as the January 5th date gets closer. “Some students don’t have a computer, so they’ve showed some frustration,” he said. Concealed carry licensing at least starting out will be online only. At first glance navigating the site may look easy, but don’t be deceived. A checklist prompts applicants they’ll have to upload a copy of their training certificate, get an Illinois “Digital ID” and make sure their computer has Java. For anyone without tech smarts, that’s a foreign language. “By July 1st, we should have a system in place that would address the needs of those individuals who may not have that capability,” said Monique Bond, Illinois State Police Spokesperson. Bond said a paper application is in the works. She said ISP had a hunch an online only system wouldn’t reach everyone, despite being more efficient. Meanwhile, Harry Marshall is prepping for a business surge in the coming year, as more folks learn how to carry. “We’re anticipating to teach more students in the future,” said Marshall. ISP will open the online licensing application tomorrow to certified firearms instructors only.

State lawmakers still have much to do Illinois General Assembly under pressure as final month approaches

Remember that student in class who waited until the last day to start studying for the final exam? That’s how state Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, describes the Illinois Legislature in May. The flurry of activity that characterizes the last month of the spring session is about to begin for Syverson and other lawmakers representing DeKalb County. “Every year, things get pushed off,” Syverson said. “Now we have less than 30 days to deal with all the substantive issues.” The Daily Chronicle checked in with the county’s four local lawmakers – Syverson, state Sen. Tim Bivins, R-Dixon, and state Reps. Robert Pritchard, R-Hinckley, and Tom Demmer, R-Dixon – on where they stand on the following substantive issues. Pensions At least five pension reform proposals have been drafted during the spring session, but none of them have gained much traction. In March, Pritchard and Demmer voted “yes” on legislation that caps the size of cost-of-living adjustments to state pensions. State employees currently receive a 3 percent compounded annual increase in pension benefits. House Bill 1165 would limit when and how much of a raise would be applied to an employee’s pension. The proposal would also increase the retirement age to 67 for state workers. “All of [the pension reform bills] are just a piece of what needs to be done,” Pritchard said. “I was voting to say, ‘Yes, this is a topic we need to address.’ ” H.B. 1165 and other bills have moved onto the Senate but have sat in various committees. Syverson said he did not expect the Senate to move on them. “We have to stop playing games with this issue,” Syverson said. “If they fail to do that before they adjourn, then shame on the leadership here in Springfield because this is too important of an issue.” Concealed carry In December, a federal appeals court ruled that the legislature must pass some law allowing people to carry concealed handguns in public by June 9. If they don’t, it is presumed that concealed carry will be allowed without any restrictions. Any concealed carry bill that will set statewide standards requires the preemption of home rule authority. That means the vote threshold on these bills are raised from a simply majority to a three-fifths majority.


Pritchard and Demmer co-sponsored H.B. 997, which would have the Illinois State Police issuing concealed carry permits that would allow someone to carry a handgun on their person. The proposal, however, only garnered 64 votes, seven short of three-fifths.

Bivins said he was working on a concealed carry proposal with another senator, Chicago Democrat Kwame Raoul. However, people didn’t react well to his concept of giving Chicago a carve out for concealed carry permits.

“It was problematic for members on both sides,” Bivins said.

Demmer compared concealed carry and pensions, noting that they are both important issues, but how the Senate and House are tackling them are very, very different. What passes in the House, he added, might not gain traction in the Senate.


Still working its way through the legislative sausage-making is a gambling expansion bill. Syverson is a co-sponsor of S.B. 1739, which would allow for five new casinos around the state, including one in Chicago and another in Rockford. The bill would also allow for slot machines at the state’s racetracks.

However, the other legislators were opposed or lukewarm in their support for the expansion. Bivins, citing his experience as a former sheriff, said he opposed any expansion of gambling. Demmer said he wanted people to be aware of the costs of gambling.

Pritchard was skeptical of the bill being passed this year, noting that it comes up every year.

“I’m not convinced this year is going to be any different,” Pritchard said.

Gay marriage

All four legislators voiced their opposition to S.B. 10, which would legalize gay marriage. The bill contains language stating that religious denominations are not required to marry same-sex couples if it is against their beliefs.

Bivins and Demmer said they believe marriage is between a man and a woman. Syverson and Pritchard said the arguments that proponents of gay marriage are using were mentioned during the civil union debate, which the state legalized in 2011.

“This one, I guess, I didn’t see the urgency of doing it,” Syverson said. “What the real purpose was – outside of changing terminology – I guess that’s why I joined the others and didn’t support that.”


Medical marijuana

The Illinois House took the first steps to legalizing medical marijuana earlier this month. Under the proposal, a doctor can prescribe someone with a “debilitating medical condition” up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana during a 14-day period.

Pritchard voted yes on H.B. 1, while Demmer voted no. Pritchard described the bill as being much better than previous versions.

“This bill was significantly different, and I thought it addressed a lot of the concerns people were saying,” Pritchard said.

He noted that the legalization has a sunset clause of four years, so the General Assembly can consider later if the program has worked.

Demmer said that although he’s aware of the potential benefits of medical marijuana, he felt the General Assembly was not qualified to discuss matters like these.

Bivins expressed similar sentiments.

“I don’t know if that’s been proven,” Bivins said. “I don’t know anyone in the GA who can say this is a legal and safe drug. That’s what we would be doing if we pass this law.”

Demmer said his opinion would change if an agency like the Food and Drug Administration came out in favor of medical marijuana.

Syverson said he’s in favor of it provided the bill maintains strict rules on use.

Lawmakers debate new concealed carry law for Illinois

Illinois lawmakers face a quickly approaching deadline to ratify new concealed carry legislation before the state’s concealed carry ban, which was enacted earlier this year, expires in June. Illinois is the only state without a concealed carry law. The federal court gave Illinois 180 days to draft legislation concerning a concealed carry law. If a law is not passed by June 10, anyone will be allowed to carry a concealed weapon virtually anywhere in Illinois. Following recent shootings, notably in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., Gov. Pat Quinn said he is ready to enact new legislation concerning concealed carry. “(We have to) listen to what people are saying all over our state, all over our country,” Quinn said at the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence rally in Springfield on Thursday. “It’s time for gun safety legislation.” Last week, House Bill 0148, a bill on concealed carry, was not passed by the Illinois House. Christopher Dayton, Illinois student senator and senior in LAS, said this bill was offered and sponsored by Republicans and would have few restrictions, so everyone eligible to own a gun could carry a concealed weapon. Dayton said the more important bill that is still being considered is House Bill 1155, which is a Democratic bill sponsored by Speaker Mike Madigan, D-22. Dayton also said he thinks it has the highest probability of being passed. House Bill 1155 contains more restrictions concerning where someone can carry a weapon, but Dayton said it is not as specific as some would prefer. For example, under this bill, a location such as Newman Residence Hall, 604 E. Armory Ave., would be seen as an apartment in the eyes of the law. If this law is passed as is, anyone eligible to own a gun would be legally able to bring a firearm into the dorm. The same detail is needed when considering fraternity and sorority housing. “You’re introducing firearms into a very volatile area, where we know for a fact alcohol consumption is very high, emotional tensions run high, class stresses and possibly the use of illegal narcotics,” Dayton said. “While I fully believe in the individual’s right to own and carry a concealed weapon, we (need to) prevent it from being done in an atmosphere that could pose harm to others.” One of the facets being debated is the idea of limiting high-capacity magazines that can be bought. This would limit the amount of bullets that can be fired at one time, which would limit the number of victims in a shooting. “If (the concealed carry policy) is enacted into law, then we’ll react to it,” said Skip Frost, deputy chief of University Police. “I can’t see it changing the policy on campus where guns and weapons basically are prohibited (unless) you have the written authority of the chief of police.” Frost said that local police have been in contact with other large public universities, like those in Wisconsin, about new policies when the concealed carry law is ratified. Officials at the University of Wisconsin-Madison posted signs clarifying that students cannot carry weapons near locations like the student union and other common areas. “It’s as simple as if they raised the speed limit to 45 mph instead of 35 mph on campus,” Frost said. “Would it be safer? Probably not, with all the skateboarders and bicycles and those walking around campus, that would be a bad move.” Before the June 10 deadline, if no concealed carry law is passed, every eligible citizen of Illinois can carry a firearm to any location, whether it is a rifle, pistol or other weapon. Dayton said he thinks House Bill 1155’s lack of specifity needs to be changed. The bill could be rewritten in order to provide a framework that would allow certain locations to determine whether they would allow concealed carry, he said. “What will best fit for downstate Illinois will not fit for Chicago. What best fits for the University of Illinois will not necessarily match up with what will be best for Western or Southern or any other colleges in this state,” he said. “We need to make sure that every single area can have their own governing principle on (concealed carry).” It is still unclear whether Illinois will ratify a legislation before June 10, but Quinn said new legislation is necessary. “We’re tired of going to funerals,” Quinn said. “We’re going to do something.”

As of March 17th, the answer to “How to get an Illinois Concealed Carry Weapons Permit” is getting clearer and clearer.

As of March 17th, the answer to “How to get an Illinois Concealed Carry Weapons Permit” is getting clearer and clearer. More amendments have been offered to House Bill 1155, and they don’t deal with the education and training aspect.

This tells us what we’ve known for some time; that the education / training requirement for an Illinois Concealed Carry Permit will be just what was originally proposed by the friend of the NRA in Springfield, Rep. Brandon Phelps.

The NRA Basic Pistol Course remains as the best way to satisfy the Illinois Concealed Carry Permit class requirement. It is an eight hour class that includes a range qualification. The only thing that needs to be added to the NRA Basic Pistol Course is a bit more challenging range qualification, which can easily be done without adding any extra time.

While the original requirement that was included in Rep. Brandon Phelps merely called for passing the NRA Basic Pistol Course, the latest iteration by Rep. Phelps, which appears to be a compromise, was included in Amendment 27 of House Bill 1155 and passed with a comfortable margin.  This requirement is for the student to hit a B27 human sized silhouette target 70% of the time with 30 rounds fired.  Ten rounds each are to be fired from 5, 7 and 10 yards.

Concealed Carry Classes Booming at John A. Logan

CARTERVILLE — Southern Illinois sees a surge of people training to carry concealed weapons as the state moves closer to making it legal.

Concealed carry classes are booming at John A. Logan College these days. Officials credit the recent court ruling in Illinois that ordered lawmakers to lift the state’s ban on concealed firearms within six months. However, the training might not necessarily be recognized under the new Illinois law.

More than 300 people are expected to fill the seats of a concealed carry training course this weekend at JALC. Jay Bernhardt, 26, of Johnston City is one of them.

“To kind of know my rights as a gun owner and kind of what’s expected state-to-state,” he said.

Bernhardt likes to travel and wants to make sure he’s protected on the road. This weekend he’ll sit in the class for four hours in hopes of earning a permit that will allow him to carry in 31 states.

“I know some states you have to have it visible, some states you to have to just have it in a container so just, learning that is something I’m looking forward to but just the ability to have it in an arm’s reach is something that you just never know when you’re gonna need it,” Bernhardt explained.

Casey Fuller is the course instructor with 25 years of firearms experience. He says the anticipation of a concealed carry law in Illinois has been good for business.

“Just like the purchase of firearms and ammunition, there’s been a big spike in these classes as well,” he said.

Fuller is hopeful concealed carry will pass in Illinois, but says the concealed carry permit earned in his class won’t necessarily certify you to carry in Illinois.

“There’s no bill or policy that’s in place so, you know, hopefully all the students that have taken my class in the past will qualify for Illinois but the chances of that happening are probably low,” Fuller explained.

But this weekend is just a starting point. Bernhardt says carrying a weapon is a great responsibility and he’s just glad for the opportunity to take hold of his second amendment right.

“I think it stems back to just good, honest citizens that don’t break the law and want to protect themselves against criminals,” he added.

The permit earned in the Logan class is valid for five years and training is not required for renewal. No word yet on when the next course will be available.



Concealed Carry Permit Issue Class: No Issue

Concealed Carry Permit Issue Class: No Issue

The “No Issue” classification means that concealed carry is not legal for Illinois residents or non-Illinois residents.

*The state of Illinois has the most rigorous restriction on firearms on any state. It doesn’t cater open or concealed carry of firearms for the residents of the state, but it does allow residents to own a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID) which is required for owning a firearm and ammunition in the state.

Minimum Requirements for an Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification card (FOID):

  • You must be a resident of Illinois.
  • You must not be an alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S.
  • Non-immigrant visa holders can apply for a license if they are admitted to the U.S. for lawful hunting or sporting purposes, an official representative of a foreign government, a foreign law enforcement officer on official business, or has received a waiver from the Attorney General of the U.S.
  • You must be 21 years of age or older. If you are under the age of 21, you must have a written consent of your parent or legal guardian to acquire firearms and ammunition.
  • You are qualified to own a firearm in a safe manner.
  • You must not under indictment nor have been convicted of a felony in the U.S. or elsewhere.
  • You must not be convicted of misdemeanor or domestic violence.
  • You must not be under court order.
  • You must not be an unlawful user or addicted to any controlled substance.
  • You must not be dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces.
  • You have not renounced U.S. citizenship.
  • You must not be adjudged insane or mentally deranged.
  • You must not be a fugitive from justice.

Miscellaneous Illinois Firearms Owners Identification Card (FOID) Information:

  •  Instructions for applications for a Firearms Owners Identification Card (FOID):
    1. You have to indicate your Illinois Card Number or Illinois driver’s license on the application.
    2. Apply for a Firearms Owners Identification Card (FOID) at your local police station.
    3. Provide your photograph and pay the non-refundable fee.
    4. The application, which includes the extensive background check, will be processed within 30 days.
  • The FOID card is valid for five (5) years.
  • Concealed Carry Weapon can be granted if you become a mayor, alderman, president, deputy marshal or policeman. After the required weapons training, you will be considered as a “conservator of the peace.”

Official Government Links:

Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Card Act

Illinois State Police – FOID card FAQ

Illinois Law – Prohibition on Concealed Carry Weapon


Before you can even consider a concealed carry permit, you must still be able to legally possess or own a firearm under U.S. federal law.

United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 922: “Firearms, Unlawful Acts” is a summary of conditions that disqualify a person from firearm possession or ownership.

The person cannot be:

  • under indictment for or have been convicted of a felony. (see note 1)
  • a fugitive from justice
  • an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance
  • adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to a mental institution
  • an alien who is illegally or unlawfully in the United States (see note 2)
  • discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
  • someone who has renounced his or her U.S. citizenship;
  • subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of the person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child
  • convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,
    • Note 1: Felony conviction does not include any conviction which has been expunged or set aside, or for which a person has been pardoned, or has had civil rights restored, unless the pardon, expungement, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.
    • Felonies don’t include non-violent business related crimes.
    • Civil rights are generally restored after the sentence is completed for felonies that are not crimes against persons.
    • Note 2: Legal immigrant aliens (“green card” or approved and pending green card) are not prohibited.