In 2014, Illinois became the last state to allow gun owners the right to carry concealed firearms, and while a large number of concealed carry permits were issued that year, applications statewide for these permits have been on a steady decline, aside from a slight increase in 2016. The exception to this trend, however, is that a greater number of citizens residing in rural areas are submitting applications for legal concealed carry of a firearm.
Conceal Carry by the Numbers
It should be noted that the analysis of these trends does not differentiate between the year an application is submitted and when the permit was issued, should those events occur in separate calendar years. However, according to totals provided by the Illinois State Police, which oversees processing, issuing and revocation (if necessary) of concealed carry applications and permits, the numbers for Illinois since the law was enacted are as follows:
- 2014 – 103,797 applications and 91,620 permits issued
- 2015 – 60,270 applications and 55,005 permits issued
- 2016 – 76,098 applications and 72,188 permits issued
- 2017 (through July) – 32,930 applications and 38,880 permits issued
If these numbers for 2017 remain consistent, Illinois might see only 56,451 applications by year’s end. This would represent a nearly 26 percent decrease over last year.
What are Some Reasons for the Decrease?
It is suggested that national politics have had a large impact on the activity of gun owners. Some associate the “bump” in applications during 2016 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the presidency, which brought concern to gun owners that the Democrat would impose stricter gun laws if elected. Subsequently, the current decline in permit applications may be attributed to the election of President Donald Trump, which may have assuaged fears of tighter firearms restrictions.
Cost may be another factor affecting this matter. While the application fee for a concealed carry permit is only $150, the cost of purchasing a weapon and paying for the required training could total nearly $1,000.
Rural Areas Buck the Trend
Illinois State Police records indicate that a greater number of citizens residing in rural counties in southern and central Illinois are applying for concealed carry permits, and completing the required 16 hours of training.
“Remoteness” appears to play a major role in this regional phenomenon. Residents indicate that the distance between neighbors and the amount of area police must patrol, which impacts response times, compels them to take steps for legal self defense .
Get Your Legal Advice from an Experienced Illinois Weapons Defense Attorney
Whether you are facing a gun or weapons charge, have questions about Illinois’ concealed carry laws, or wish to better understand the concealed carry application process, there is no better resource than a knowledgeable Will County gun and weapons defense lawyer . Rely on the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba to provide you with complete information or an aggressive defense.