By Amy Kent
Herald Staff Writer
FULTON, Ill. —
After the state of Illinois passed the Firearm Concealed Carry Act on July 8, the Fulton Police Department is now preparing for what that will mean for the river city.
“The way it stands now, we don’t really know how it’s going to be implicated,” Fulton Police Officer Dave Bartels said.
According to Illinois State Police Lt. John Biffany, the ISP has six months to put together a program for the application of a concealed carry license to be available to Illinois residents by Jan. 5, 2014.
Once the application process begins it is estimated that more than 150,000 applications will be submitted within the first month.
“Initially it’s going to be a big mess,” said Bartels, adding that he has already been approached by Fulton residents asking how to apply for the license.
Illinois is the last state in the nation to approve the Firearm Concealed Carry Act and has strict legislation to go along with it.
Only Illinois residents with a concealed carry permit will be honored in the state and in order to carry from another state, a non-resident permit must be purchased.
An Illinois resident who wants a concealed carry permit must complete an application, pay $150 for a five-year permit, complete a 16-hour gun safety course and pass a background check and mental health scan.
Non-Illinois residents must complete the same procedure to obtain a permit, but must pay $300 for the five-year license.
Bartels said his department will not be affected by the application process itself, but he knows what his officers need to do to be prepared.
“It’s the law now and we’ll deal with it. We will deal with it the same way we deal with anyone with a gun,” Bartels said.