The Cook County Sheriff's Office in the first month of processing has spent more than 2,000 hours reviewing between 8,000 and 9,000 applications under the state's new concealed carry law, finding one applicant with 20 arrests and 14 certified firearms instructors with questionable backgrounds.
The office has 25 people spending part or all of their time on the task, pulled away from their usual duties, which include patrol, Sheriff Thomas Dart said in a news release.
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The office has objected to 240 of the applications. The Illinois Concealed Carry Licensing Board will review the objections and decide whether to uphold them except for five cases where they have already been denied by the state police. The sheriff's office objected to 14 people currently certified as concealed carry training instructors by the state police, Dart said.
The lowest rate of objections is to applications from Northwest Cook County, which has 19 compared to 24 in the West suburbs, 54 in the South suburbs and 118 in Chicago.
Among the applicants are people who would appear to be clearly ineligible. One applicant has been arrested 20 times, with two convictions, according to the news release. Another applicant has been arrested 12 times, with one conviction, including gun-related offenses such as aggravated battery with a firearm, failure to keep a record of firearm transfer and defacing firearm markings.
Another applicant who has been arrested nine times, with one conviction, including for unlawful use of a weapon and two aggravated assaults with a firearm.
The most common objections were for domestic violence, 88; gun crimes, 77; assault and battery, 52; orders of protection, 29; and aggravated batteries and assaults, 27.