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Illinois concealed-carry gun applications accepted started Sunday

FILE - In this July 10 2013 file phosemi-automatic handguns are seen display for purchase Capitol City Arms Supply Springfield

FILE - In this July 10, 2013 file photo, semi-automatic handguns are seen display for purchase at Capitol City Arms Supply in Springfield, Ill. On Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, Illinois residents for the first time can apply for permits to carry concealed weapons. For now, they can apply only online through the Illinois State Police website. Six months ago Illinois became the last state in the nation to approve a law allowing the public possession of a concealed firearm. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

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Updated: January 4, 2014 7:58PM

Illinois officials will begin accepting applications Sunday from people who want to carry concealed weapons, but it could be months before anyone will actually be allowed to possess the firearms.

The Illinois State Police has up to 90 days to approve or deny applicants, provided their applications are complete and fingerprints are submitted in an electronic format. If an applicant’s fingerprints aren’t submitted, the state police will have an additional 30 days to complete a manual background check. Law enforcement agencies also have 30 days from when an application is submitted to object to a license being issued.

Officials have been testing the online application system, and the process has gone smoothly, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said Saturday.

“We’ll be ready,” she said.

Illinois’ ban on the public possession of concealed guns was the last in the nation — until a federal judge ruled last year that it was unconstitutional and gave lawmakers a deadline to end it.

Anyone who wants to carry a concealed firearm will need a license, except for peace officers and eligible retired officers. People who carry firearms without a license are subject to arrest.

Applicants must:

◆ Be 21 or older.

◆ Have a valid Firearm Owners Identification card.

◆ Successfully complete 16 hours of approved firearms training.

◆ Not have been convicted of a misdemeanor involving the use or threat of force or violence or have two or more violations related to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the past five years.

◆ Not have been in residential or court-ordered drug or alcohol treatment in the past five years.

◆ Not have a pending arrest warrant, prosecution or proceeding for an offense that could disqualify them.

◆ Submit a completed application.

The law allows concealed handguns. Stun guns, Tasers, shotguns or machine guns — as defined by state law — are not allowed.

A list of approved firearms instructors and courses is on the Illinois State Police website, at

For Illinois residents, the fee to apply is $150 for five years. For out-of-state residents, $300 for five years.

The state will not allow so-called “open carry” under the new law. Handguns must be concealed from public view.

The law bans concealed carry in places such as schools, child-care facilities, courthouses, public transportation, college and professional sports stadiums and in any establishment where alcohol sales make up more than 50 percent of the business’s receipts.

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