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posted: 4/26/2014 8:00 AM

Number of objections to concealed carry applications varies widely across suburbs

Objections vary across the suburbs

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  • John Blair, left, executive director of the Cook County sheriff's department Intelligence Center, consults with officer John Slepski about a firearms background check Slepski is performing at the center in Chicago.

    John Blair, left, executive director of the Cook County sheriff's department Intelligence Center, consults with officer John Slepski about a firearms background check Slepski is performing at the center in Chicago.
    Associated Press, January 2014

  • Concealed carry objections

    Graphic: Concealed carry objections (click image to open)

By Marty Hobe

Some police agencies in the suburbs are much more likely than others to file formal objections to individual requests for concealed carry permits.

Objections by the Cook County sheriff and Chicago police far outpace other jurisdictions. Across the collar counties, the number of objections ranges from 56 filed by the Lake County sheriff's department to one filed by the McHenry County sheriff's department, according to data released by Illinois State Police in response to a Daily Herald Freedom of Information request.

Among municipal police departments, Waukegan filed 16 objections and Streamwood and Addison 14 each. Many towns have not filed any.

Under Illinois' new concealed carry program, law enforcement officials are allowed to object to the application of any individual who they believe should not carry a handgun. That's after the state police conduct a review of each application that includes a background check.

State police reported Friday that law enforcement agencies across the state have filed 1,758 objections against concealed carry applications as of April 18. Across Illinois, 133 law enforcement agencies have filed objections.

The Cook County sheriff's department filed more than half the objections with 899, and the Cook County state's attorney's office objected to 15. The Chicago Police Department filed 306 objections.

Among counties, the DuPage County sheriff's department objected to three applications and the DuPage County Metropolitan Enforcement Group, which focuses on illegal drugs, objected to one; the Kane County sheriff's department objected to seven and the Kane County state's attorney to four; the Lake County sheriff's office objected to 56; the McHenry County sheriff's department objected to one; and the Will County sheriff's department objected to 48.

Of the 56 objections by the Lake County sheriff's department as of April 16, 25 of those applicants received concealed carry permits anyway, Sgt. Sara Balmes said.

The DuPage County sheriff's department referred questions to a spokeswoman who did not return calls on Friday. Along with Addison, a number of other DuPage County towns objected to applications, including the Naperville and Downers Grove police departments with 11 each, the Elmhurst Police Department with nine and the Wood Dale Police Department with eight.

Sgt. Bill Davis of the Naperville Police Department said objections are filed on a "case-to-case basis."

"We look to see if this person is a threat to themselves or to others," Davis said.

Elmhurst police Deputy Chief Dominic Panico said his officers "identify those applications in our ZIP code that may have risen to the law's objections" before intervening in the application process.

Panico said he has not heard of anyone receiving a permit despite an objection from the Elmhurst police.

State police spokeswoman Monique Bond told the Daily Herald last week there is a 30-day waiting period in which other law enforcement agencies can object to individual applications.

The state's Concealed Carry Review Board reviews objections from law enforcement agencies as well as appeals from individuals who say they were denied permits unfairly, Bond said. But the board does not hear all requests.

More than 33,000 concealed carry permits have been granted since Illinois first began approving the permits earlier this year. Last summer, a federal court ordered the legislature to remove a statewide ban on concealed weapons.

To be eligible for a concealed carry permit, applicants must finish 16 hours of training and pay a $150 fee to the state police.

If applicants think their permit was wrongfully denied, either directly by the state or through another agency's objection, they can appeal by writing a request to the state police.

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