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240 flagged for concealed carry
8,722 in county seek permits in 1st month online

Thursday, February 06, 2014
Chicago Tribune
by Dahleen Glanton

In a review of the first month of concealed carry applications, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart objected to granting firearms permits to 240 people because of criminal histories that include domestic violence and gun crimes.

As of Wednesday, state police had received 36,630 applications, 8,722 of them from Cook County.

Of the Cook County applicants Dart objected to, five had already been denied by the state police. Of the remainder, 88 had records for domestic violence, 77 for gun crimes, 52 for battery/assault and 27 for aggravated battery/assault. Twenty-nine had orders of protection filed against them. Some of the applicants had records in more than one category.

Dart also objected to applicants with records for gang activity, burglary, theft, sex crimes and drug crimes. Many applicants had more than one violation — one had been arrested 20 times, with two convictions, the sheriff's office said.

Fourteen of the applicants Dart objected to are certified concealed carry trainers, the sheriff's office said.

A new law allowing concealed guns to be carried in public was cobbled together after an appellate court struck down the state's concealed carry ban in December 2012. An online system for applying for permits was launched last month. State police also are working on a paper application process that they hope to have completed by July.

As part of the application process, county sheriffs, state's attorneys, local police and the attorney general's offices are allowed to review applications that have been initially approved by the Illinois State Police.

When objections are made, the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board must review the applications and make the final decision.

Dart has been critical of the approval process, calling it "fraught with problems and holes."

While the law requires state police to file an objection if an applicant has five or more arrests in the past seven years or three or more arrests on gang-related charges, Dart has vowed to be more stringent.

He has said he wants to bar permits to those arrested even once in the past seven years for domestic violence, gun possession or gang crimes.

According to the sheriff's office, 118 of the applicants who Dart wants to deny live in Chicago and 97 reside in suburban Cook County.

Of those, 54 are from the south suburbs, 24 from the central suburbs and 19 from the northern suburbs.

An additional 25 people live outside Cook County but fall under the sheriff's office's jurisdiction because they lived in the county at some point in the past 10 years.

Nearly 360,000 Cook County residents are licensed to own a gun.

Dart has said he believes perhaps half of them will apply for a concealed carry permit.



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