A federal judge is rejecting a legal bid by gun-rights advocates who wanted people to be able to immediately carry firearms in Illinois under the state’s new concealed carry law.
East St. Louis U.S. District Judge William Stiehl threw out the lawsuit filed by Mary Shepard and the Illinois State Rifle Association, siding with the state and saying the legal action is moot.
Shepard and the rifle group had argued it was unconstitutional to make people wait for the permit process to be outlined under the new concealed carry law that lawmakers passed July 9. Illinois State Police have 180 days to set up a program before accepting applications, plus another 90 days to process the forms.
Meanwhile, State Police director Hiram Grau says his people anticipated the need to prepare for a concealed-carry law a long time ago. Grau says his office has been preparing for months, knowing the state would eventually put a concealed-carry law onto the books.
“We know exactly what we have to do,” says Grau. “We’re proceeding. I can guarantee you we’ll be ready.”
The State Police will be ready to certify instructors and courses by Sept. 7 and take applications on Jan. 5, 2014. The law carries a $150 fee for a five-year permit and a 16-hour training requirement.