SPRINGFIELD-- Illinois State Police will only accept online applications from people who want new concealed carry permits.
And that's concerning for one Illinois lawmaker who was the chief sponsor of the state's new gun law, according to the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers.
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"We want the ability to have a choice," said state Rep. Brandon Phelps, a Harrisburg Democrat. "You've got people in some rural areas who don't have access to computers or who might not understand the technology."
But Illinois State Police officials say they're not set up to process paper applications.
"At this time we will only be accepting applications online," said ISP spokeswoman Monique Bond. "It is more efficient, cost-effective and easier for other agencies to communicate throughout the application process."
The concealed carry applications are the latest paperless procedure in the state.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security is promoting its online portal for jobless benefits. And the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is hoping to have an all-online system for various licenses.
People will be able to file concealed carry applications starting Jan. 5. Anyone with the permit will need to attend firearms training classes taught by approved instructors.
Authorities anticipate 400,000 people will apply for concealed carry permits in the first year alone.
Lawmakers approved concealed carry last summer after a federal appeals court said Illinois' last-in-the-nation ban was unconstitutional.