In 2013 Illinois became the last state in the United States to allow the otherwise law abiding citizen to carry a concealed handgun. Since the passage of concealed carry in Illinois, it has become the law of the land, and has been in effect for one year. How has the landscape changed in Illinois? Is crime up/down, accidental shootings rampant? Or are citizens even going through the long expensive process set forth by a notoriously gun unfriendly administration?
January 2014 brought in nearly 35,000 applications from Illinois gun owners who wished to obtain their concealed carry license. Training classes were hard to get into, the number of NRA and Illinois approved trainers swelled to meet the demand. In the days and months since the numbers have dwindled to a few thousand applicants per month. What does this mean for the future of Illinois concealed carry? The future is bright!
With the mad rush for initial applicant gone, many of the fly by night trainers are gone, leaving Illinois with a long bright future for Illinois’ concealed carry program. Even though the expected numbers were not met, it comes as no surprise. Illinois State police formed expectations so that funding could be estimated. They excessively over estimated the number of applicants, by assuming all FOID card holders would apply within the first year. This gross overstatement was by design to get them the facilities to be able to exceed the demand which was way under estimated for the previous FOID program. FOID is regularly behind schedule and was never funded or expected to see the 2nd Amendment support from Illinois citizens.
Where does that leave us today? Illinois has over 90,000 lawful citizens who are carrying guns, Cook county leading the way with nearly 24,000 license holders. While crime statistics are not in for 2014, no significant changes are expected to be the result of concealed carry. With well below 1% of citizens licensed to carry, and many new to the way of life, changes are not likely in the short term.
Come spring 2015 the Illinois State police and Illinois trainers are getting ready for a surge of concealed carry applicants. After all many don’t think about getting outside to the range during the cold Illinois winters. The years to come will have much to bear with concealed carry. While concealed carry in Illinois has just begun, it’s also facing other problems like crime reporting statistics. Chicago police have been long suspected, and recently audited to have been cooking the books so to speak. Hopefully armed citizens and accurate crime reporting will lead to real change in a state deeply divided on the topic of gun rights.
Earlier this month a 24 year old murderer killed three Canadian police officers. This rare tragedy lead a Sun News reporter to look into similar murders in the US. You ask what does this have to do with Illinois? Your patience will be rewarded.
Sun News had taken a bold stand against the killer of those New Brunswick officers. They have vowed NOT to report the identity of the criminal. Even though other news outlets are reporting the name, Sun News will not give him the satisfaction. Unfortunately, too often these kinds of crimes are done for attention, notoriety, or fame. Sun News will not take part in giving a murder what he wants.
The reporter has an interesting view looking across the border into the US and the recent debate over mental illness, background checks, and gun rights. According to the reporter, and the facts about mass shootings. Mass murder in the United States accounts for less than 1% of all gun related deaths. The American media sources will always lead with a mass murder, but rarely will a gang shooting make the evening news. Many will say if it bleeds it leads, while true the US media will lead with the deaths that fit the story they are trying to tell. Not all murder is created equal.
I promised your patiences would be rewarded, let’s come all the way back around to Illinois. Specifically Chicago, where more people are violently murdered each year, than in all mass shootings that same year. A string of killings in Chicago is business as usual, and is not newsworthy. But should the same number of people be shot down in one location in a small suburban town it’s national news. And with any gun crime on the national scene, be prepared for the gun control crowd to hit the airwaves before the names of the victims have even been released.
I commend the reporter for the Sun News for the objective look at a horrible crime in Canada. Making an active decision to report on the incident, and refuse to identify the killer is unheard of in US new circles. The outsiders comparison of US mass shootings when compared to gun violence in Chicago is something that would not be reported here in Illinois.
I apologize for not announcing the winners sooner, but I didn’t want to until I had a chance to contact them. Congratulations to Scott from Alton, IL the winner of the Alien Gear holster! The Tannerite Exploding Targets were won by Richard from Elgin, IL.
I want to thank them for their support of Illinois gun owners, and everyone else who purchase pro-self defense material from defend Illinois [dot] com in April.
I hope Scott and Richard enjoy their prizes, and put them to good use. Now that you know you didn’t win the Alien Gear holster I hope you’ll head over there and buy one for yourself. You won’t be disappointed once you get it and get it all broken in. If you missed my review of my Alien Gear holster, check it out for all the details.