A flurry of lawsuits from Illinois residents whose applications for a permit to carry a concealed weapon were rejected without explanation has prompted the state police to require a state review board to reveal its reasoning.
Under what the Illinois State Police called in a Tuesday news release "emergency rules," the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board will notify applicants of the reasons for credible objections to their Firearm Owner's Identification card applications and which law enforcement agency brought those objections. Applicants will then be given ten days to contest the rejection.
Since Illinois became the last state in the nation to strike down its prohibition of concealed weapons, a number of people have expressed concerns about their inability to find out why they were rejected, with some filing lawsuits.
The state police said federal and state lawsuits have been filed, and they expected "the volume of litigation" to continue if the issue wasn't addressed.
An appellate court ruled in December 2012 that Illinois' prohibition was unconstitutional. State lawmakers enacted the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, and officials rushed to establish a system to handle what was expected to be a flood of applications and put in place an online application process that began in January of this year.
In all, state police spokeswoman Monique Bond said, more than 80,000 applications have been submitted, of which about 64,000 have been approved by the state board.
The board, which considers such factors as applicants' arrest records or enrollment in court-ordered substance abuse treatment programs, has denied a total of 1,163 applications, Bond said. That has led to more than 200 petitions for review of denials as well as dozens of lawsuits, she said.