Illinois Residents Experiencing Insane Wait Times for CCLs

One has a right to keep and bear arms.  That right “shall not be infringed,” as the country’s founding document unambiguously states.  But how long should one have to wait before one can exercise that right?  More specifically, before one can carry a firearm in public for self-defense?  

A day?  A week?  A month?  A year?

For residents in the Land of Lincoln the wait time for a Concealed Carry License (CCL) is supposed to be less than 90 days for applications with fingerprints and less than 120 days for applications without fingerprints.  

However, those deadlines are being missed by more than a month in some instances (taking 120 and 140 days respectively), according to NBC 5 Chicago investigation.

One pro-2A organization told GunsAmerica it is considering suing the state, arguing that the status quo is completely unacceptable.  

“The Second Amendment Foundation’s successful lawsuit forced Illinois to pass their concealed carry permit law. Now in Illinois they have done everything they could to discourage people from exercising their rights,” said Alan Gottlieb, the founder of SAF, in an email to GunsAmerica.  

“A right delayed is a right denied. We are considering taking legal to end this abuse of process,” he added.  

The Illinois State Police (ISP) says that they are aware of the delays and are hoping a new automated system will speed up the process.  

“The Department is aware of issues surrounding the Call Center and currently is working on implementing a VoIP call center solution to provide much needed improvements and efficiencies,” said an Illinois State Police spokesperson.

SEE ALSO: Illinois Lawmaker to Gun Owner: Instead of Fines, Maybe I’ll Confiscate ‘Assault Weapons’

Right now the state’s Firearm Services Bureau call center is staffed with only five people to answer about 20,000 calls each week.  

The new system — which will cost $750,000 to set up and $10,000 per month to operate — will allow callers to renew a Firearms Ownership Identification (FOID) card or a CCL with no address change over the phone without speaking to a live agent, says ISP.    

Obtaining a CCL in Illinois not only take more time than it does in other states but it also requires more from the applicant.  Prospective CCL holders must obtain a FOID card, take a sixteen-hour course, pass a marksmanship test and pay $150 fee before they can lawfully carry outside the home.  

There are over 300,000 active permit holders in Illinois.  ISP is currently processing 33,930 first-time and renewal CCL applications, according to NBC 5.  

ISP said that frustrated residents may call (217) 782-7980 or email the Firearms Services Bureau at  One may also visit the ISP website for general FOID/CCL information.  

The obvious doesn’t need to be stated… but Illinois could avoid this nightmare altogether if it just switched over to Constitutional Carry aka permitless carry.  As many as 16 states have done so and not one has turned into the “Wild Wild West” as anti-gunners prognosticated. 

Sure, ISP would still need to issue CCLs for reciprocity reasons but, in the meantime, thousands of law-abiding Illinoisans would not be prohibited from exercising a fundamental right.    

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • CoachKR April 4, 2021, 12:47 pm

    I’ve been waiting since 2015 for a CCL response and I’m pretty sure I paid the$10.00 for the application.

  • KenL September 2, 2019, 4:05 pm

    Illinois will NEVER pass constitutional carry – they need the $$$$$.

  • Michael Hamilton August 31, 2019, 3:06 pm

    Yeah I live in Tompkins county NY took 10 months

  • Michael August 30, 2019, 2:09 pm

    They are trying to discourage people. And hindering our God given rights

  • Patrick August 30, 2019, 12:38 pm

    Amazing that Illinois has so many concealed carry licenses when it strives so hard to avoid issuing them.

    In the real Wild West homicide was rare and took place mostly between consenting low-lifes. An attack on an innocent person would be swiftly dealt with via “hemp fiber therapy”, with or without the intervention of the law.

    The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was the result of the Earp faction trying to deny the Clanton faction their 2nd Amendment rights.

  • E August 30, 2019, 11:47 am

    At least they have a chance. Try doing that in corrupt, socialist L.A. County. Only if you’re a retired LEO, fireman, hypocritical anti-2A actor or VIP will you be given a CCW practically free.

  • Joe August 30, 2019, 9:03 am

    I swear this state loves to invent problems just so they can throw money at it

  • Buck August 30, 2019, 7:58 am

    Don’t apply for a CCW in Wayne County, NY, you’ll grow old waiting. My daughter’s application for her CCW license took 10 months! And she’s married to a police captain!

    • grifhunter August 31, 2019, 11:29 am

      And New York has a specific law saying the license must be issue within SIX months.

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