SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) has some advice for those who will be applying for carry permits, in light of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals' recent decision to allow concealed carry in Illinois:
1. Apply for your FOID card right away. Possession of a valid Illinois Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card will be a requirement for all concealed carry permit applicants. By law, the Illinois State Police are supposed to issue FOID cards to qualified applicants within 30 days. In practice, the state police rarely achieve the 30-day deadline. The ISRA is advising potential carry permit applicants to get their FOID cards as soon as possible. FOID application volumes are anticipated to be very high in advance of the impending passage of a concealed carry bill. High application volumes and low production capability at the State Police FOID office will combine to cause long waits for those who do not apply for FOID cards immediately. Likewise, current FOID holders should check their cards for expiration dates and, if their card is set to expire in 90 days or less, they should get their renewal application in the mail as soon as possible.
2. Get informed now about gun options. Firearms suitable for concealed carry will soon be in short supply, as will holsters and other accessories. Citizens who anticipate applying for concealed carry permits would do well to visit their local gun dealers to acquire the equipment they will need once permits are issued. Citizens should consult with their local gun dealers to determine which firearm and holster set-up is most suitable for their individual needs.
3. Brush up on firearm training. It's always a good time to get more firearm safety training. The ISRA recommends that persons contemplating applying for a carry permit seek out a qualified instructor who will help them hone their skills – especially with the firearm(s) they plan to use for concealed carry purposes.
4. Then practice shooting. Practice…practice…practice. As little as an hour per week of pistol practice will help ensure that the concealed carry permit holder is adequately prepared to deploy a firearm to defend themselves or their family.
"Once concealed carry is passed here in Illinois, there will be a huge rush on firearms, equipment, and training," commented ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson. "The good citizens of Illinois have been waiting for decades for the opportunity to provide for their own defense. That's a lot of pent up demand so gun shops and training facilities will soon be very busy places. We here at the ISRA strongly recommend that persons interested in obtaining a concealed carry permit act immediately to satisfy carry permit prerequisites or risk long permit processing delays."